Jakob Poeltl deemed ‘dream fit’ but trade cost may be too high

The Boston Celtics have worked wonders for their guard rotation in the blockbuster trade with the Indiana Pacers bringing back Malcolm Brogdon in exchange for a future draft pick and role-playing player who was largely on the bench during the 2022 NBA Finals and throughout the past postseason . However, with the sell-off of Daniel Theis, Boston has shipped its “break glass in case of emergency” center and has few options behind the often-injured Robert Williams in 2022-23.

Perhaps the problem is overdone given the presence of Al Horford, who expertly filled in the 5, with the “Time Lord” nursing a torn meniscus in his left knee throughout the C’s playoff run. Grant Williams is also a great small ball pivot in emergencies and is an appropriate frontcourt partner for Horford in these situations.

However, let’s not pretend there wouldn’t be panic in those parts and in many Celtics circles if Luke Kornet were asked to contribute big minutes for longer stretches of the 2022-23 season. Finding another big man in free agency or the trade market should be the team’s goal to put the icing on the cake of a summer that’s had some pretty spectacular results — at least considering the resources the Boston Celtics front office has had to improve the squad free agency.

Spotrac cap expert and CelticsBlog contributor Keith Smith has touched on a possible answer to the proposed problems in the form of San Antonio Spurs pivot Jakob Poeltl. As Smith says in an article titled “Celtics Waning Backup Center Options,” Poeltl is “kind of a dream comedy,” but the cost of acquiring him in a trade might be too high for Celtics front office tastes:

“Jakob Pöltl – San Antonio Spurs: That would be a kind of dream pass. But the cost is probably more than Boston wants to pay in terms of picks and then salary/taxes.”

At the close of trading last February, San Antonio was looking for a first-round pick and a “quality player” in exchange for Poeltl, according to NBA insiders Mark Stein. After Dejounte Murray’s trade brought back three future firsts and a pick swap, the price may not remain as high as it was five months ago. With Poeltl on an expiring $9 million salary, Spurs may not be motivated to move him for any return.

Who the Boston Celtics could offer a Jakob Poeltl trade to

In all honesty, after Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations, received the blessing of being on win-now after the team’s victory in the Eastern Conference and loss in six finals games, a pursuit by Jakob Poeltl should even with the price that cannot be completely ruled out as high.

In theory, Stevens and Co. would have it. Grant Williams, set to be renewed after the 2022-23 season, and Payton Pritchard as key parts of a deal, but since the salaries don’t directly match Poeltl’s, Boston would have to do two separate transactions to absorb the Vienna product into the Evan Fournier TPE and then sends the Spurs their two late first-round draft picks from the 2019 and 2020 drafts. It would be worth consolidating the rotation and giving the Cs a second unit of Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Danilo to give to Gallinari and Poeltl.

Giving up anything more than that should be considered non-starters for the front office of Cs. But G. Williams, Pritchard and a future first for Poeltl aren’t too high a price to pay to make the second session by far the best in the league.

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