The Spurs made a lot more noise than usual at the trade deadline this year, and after a couple of fringe moves, they shocked the fanbase by trading Derrick White seemingly out of nowhere for Josh Richardson and the Celtic’s 2022 first round pick. However, amidst all that chaos, perhaps the loudest trade rumors were centered around Jakob Poeltl.
Reports surfaced that the Bulls, Hornets and Raptors were interested in acquiring him (and there were more, according to Poeltl’s agent), but they were also backed up by reports that the Spurs’ asking price for him was rightfully very high — likely much more the roughly $18.15 mil he is set to make between this season and next. With the vast improvement he has shown in a starting role this season, that three-year, $27 mil deal he signed in 2020 while avoiding restricted free agency is turning out to be a steal of a deal.
Surely the Spurs would have been looking for another center in return since trading him would have left them with just Jock Landale and Zach Collins (Drew Eubanks and Thaddeus Young were traded), but the odds of them getting equal value (at best) back for Poeltl were likely slim-to-none, so they rightfully held out.
In a recent interview with Austria’s LAOLA1, Poeltl admitted he was happy to still be a Spur because he loves San Antonio and sees a solid foundation being built here:
“I had been in contact with my agent who tried to gather as much information as possible. He was in touch with the teams. Yes, I was quite aware that it wasn’t far away, or at least, there were a lot of requests.
“Of course, it’s a good sign that there’s interest. It shows that teams appreciate my value as a player, and for the Spurs.
“I like it in San Antonio. I’ve been here for a few years now. I was relieved that I didn’t get traded because I see the situation as positive.”
We’re all glad you’re still here too, Jak. As I said in White’s farewell article, losing him too would have been too much for one day.
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