Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Celtics could adjust Derrick White trade terms to land Jakob Poeltl: report

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Rumors persist linking the Boston Celtics with a potential move for San Antonio Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, with the thought process being that Boston could use him as a high-profile cover for the injury-prone Robert Williams.

According to Spurs Talk’s LJ Ellis, there are some rumors Boston could be willing to remove protections from their 2028 first-round picks, which they sent to Spurs as part of the Derrick Whtie trade to sweeten any deal centers around Pöltl.

“The Boston Celtics are another team that multiple league sources say are keen to trade for Poeltl. The Celtics reportedly see Poeltl as the perfect choice to strengthen their frontcourt as they prepare for a championship boost. I’m told Boston’s latest offer for Poeltl includes a completely unprotected first-round pick for 2028. Currently, the Spurs have the option to trade first-round picks with the Celtics in 2028 as long as the pick isn’t the first overall pick. This pick swap was acquired by San Antonio as part of the Derrick-White trade,” Ellis wrote.

Poeltl, 27, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, meaning Boston could consider him a short-term lease to help them pursue their 18th championship and first banner since 2008.

According to a recent report by Marc Stein writing in his SteinLine newsletter, Poeltl is expected to be asking around $20 million per season with his next contract, which will likely put him outside of Boston’s price range.

“League sources say sought-after Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, who is on a three-year, $26.3 million contract last season, will sign a new contract in the $20 million range annually this summer will aspire to when he achieves free agency,” Stein wrote on 1/21.

It will be interesting to see how much (if anything) Boston is willing to give up for a big man who will likely go for nothing once the current season concludes – regardless of whether Boston wins a championship or not.

According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, the Celtics should be cautious about pulling from additional draft assets in the near future as they prepare for an aging bench unit and also the potential “flight risk” from Jaylen Brown.

“Boston has the capacity to dangle first-rounders in 2025, 2027 and 2029. The latter is too far away to step into the limelight… Rival teams should be most interested in the 2025 selection. It brokers relatively soon, but after Brown’s entry into free agency in 2024. Current renewal rules prohibit him from signing one, so he will go to open market. Not to say Brown is a flight hazard, but he could be,” Favale wrote.

Still, the Celtics are in championship mode, and if a trade for an additional talent will cost them a future draft pick, it makes sense that they should consider moving forward with the deal. Finally, mastery windows are often short-lived, so maximize them whenever possible.

Still, the Celtics are in championship mode, and if a trade for an additional talent will cost them a future draft pick, it makes sense that they should consider moving forward with the deal. Finally, mastery windows are often short-lived, so maximize them whenever possible.

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