Jakob Poeltl made his way from Austria to San Antonio via Canada. He was the ninth overall draft pick in 2016 by the Toronto Raptors. He spent two seasons with the NBA’s northernmost team until being bundled with DeMar DeRozan and the draft pick that became Keldon Johnson in a trade that brought the trio to the San Antonio Spurs.
Poeltl has become the Spurs starting big man making an impact defensively and receiving accolade for his blocked shots in the paint, garnering him the nickname “Blokab Poeltl.”
Poeltl, along with the aforementioned Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV have become the nucleus of the Spurs youth movement. With Keldon moving into the starting rotation (replacing DeRozan) and the addition of Doug McDermott, the 2021-2022 Spurs could have a quicker pace, more sharp-shooting, increased passing, and a greater need for the offensive rebounding of Poeltl. His ability to pull off the glass and put the ball back increases the Spurs threat capability.
Jakob struggled from the free throw line leaving himself open to the “hack-a” trend of defense. His ability to correct and improve upon the percentage will be paramount to the Spurs and important for Poeltl finishing games with the starting squad.
His future looked bright at the beginning of last season when he was still standing in the shadow of LaMarcus Aldridge. Now, he is in the spotlight.
Happy birthday, Jakob.
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