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Happy birthday to Jakob Poeltl

The shot blocker turns 27 today.

Preseason- San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

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 is what remains of the first round of the Spurs youth movement. The exit of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV left room for the growth of Devin Vassell, Josh Primo, and Tre Jones while bringing in the new 2022 draftees.

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.

Rumors about Poeltl floated during the trading season last winter, but the Spurs value of Jakob was too high for those who were interested, a testament to what the franchise thinks of him.

We look forward to seeing Poeltl in the starting lineup next week when the Spurs kick off their 2022-23 season at home with a tribute to Manu Ginobili. It will be a home opener not to be missed.

Happy birthday, Jakob.

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