The Boston Celtics have a center rotation of Robert Williams III, Al Horford, and Luke Kornet. In addition, they get spot minutes at center from Grant Williams and can shift pretty seamlessly to smallball lineups. With Kornet’s development this year, it would seem that there’s no need to add a center to the roster.
However, it would seem that there’s still interest from the Celtics in adding Jakob Poeltl from the Spurs.
Spurs center Jakob Poeltl has gained significant trade interest from teams such as the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, according to league sources who, like all the other sources in this story, were granted anonymity so that they would be able to speak freely.
He goes on to give some background on Jakob’s contract situation.
The Spurs have had a standing offer to Poeltl for his maximum extension of four years and $58 million since before the season, but that has been declined, league sources say. San Antonio will be able to offer more to Poeltl in the offseason and is slated to have in excess of $50 million in salary-cap space. Rival executives believe Poeltl will approach the $20 million per year range in a new deal during the offseason. There’s no question the Spurs will hold a high price threshold for any deal involving Poeltl.
My first thought is that the Celtics may be thinking about the cost of keeping Grant Williams beyond this season. Not to mention needing a long term replacement for Al Horford.
I’m not sure what it would cost to acquire Poeltl but I would imagine that it would have to start with draft compensation and a good, young rotation player. There will be other suiters that could drive the price up as well (the Raptors are mentioned above).
Bobby Marks of ESPN included these numbers in his trade primer.
If Boston is willing to use salary, the Celtics have the $6.5 million contract of Danilo Gallinari and $2.2 million salary of reserve guard Payton Pritchard. By combining those two, the Celtics can trade for a player earning up to $10.9 million.
Poeltl makes $9.3M this year according to Spotrac.
Finally, I have to wonder if this rumor was leaked in order to drive the price up and we know that the Celtics and Spurs have worked together on multiple deals in the last few years.
Speculate as you like in the comments below about what you would offer (if anything) for Jakob.