Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Okafor, Matthews, Batum

Jakob Poeltl is hoping an offseason trade to the Spurs will give him a better shot at playing time, relays Tom Orsborne of The San Antonio Express-News. Poeltl was an overlooked part of the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto and DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio, but the former first-round pick may find a greater opportunity to show off his skills with his new team. Poeltl describes himself as willing to do the “dirty work” and is thrilled about the opportunity with the Spurs.

“That is one of the things I am most excited about, just the fact that this program has such a big history of developing players,” Poeltl said. “Players that stay here or players that then go somewhere else and become really good players. So, I am really excited for the process. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it.”

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • In an Instagram post, Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor thanks Kevin Love for bringing mental health issues into the open last season. Okafor, who signed a partially guaranteed two-year deal earlier this month, displays a more toned body in the post, but states that he underwent a greater change on the inside. “I’ve learned how to identify and manage different stressors such as anxiety,” Okafor wrote. “Learning how to identify certain stressors has also allowed me to over come them. Often times because of my size and profession people may view me in a certain way, but in reality I deal with the same struggles as countless others.”
  • Trade speculation will continue to follow Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews in the upcoming season, according to a Dallas Morning News profile. At age 31 and entering the final year of his contract after opting in over the summer, Matthews could be expendable after the team assembled its backcourt of the future in the past two drafts.
  • The Rockets should consider gambling on Hornets forward Nicolas Batum, writes Rahat Huq of Forbes. Houston could use another strong wing defender after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, and Charlotte may be willing to take Ryan Anderson in return because Batum’s contract is even larger. Batum is owed more than $49.5MM over the next two seasons and has a $27.1MM player option for 2020/21.
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6 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Okafor, Matthews, Batum

  1. Isaiah Thomas accused Love of faking his problems. I’d say Isaiah has mental issues of his own.

  2. Dionis

    I expect Okafor to have a big year this coming season, he’s likely averaging 10-14 ppg off the bench for New Orleans. He has slimmed up and his mind is mentally where it needs to be, all the best to him.

    • bravesfan88

      Definitely agree on Okafor…I hope things continue to finally turn around for him, on AND off the court…

      As for Batum, I think he would be the PERFECT fit for Houston, provided he is healthy. With Batum in Houston, I think that move would be enough to put them back on oar with the Warriors. Right now, I don’t think Houston has done enough to make up for their loss of Ariza and Big Luc…

      When healthy, Batum is a better all-around player than Ariza, and he could be the missing player Houston needs to finally capture their Championship…With him on board, it will significantly close the widened gap between them and the Warriors…

      He’s been an unfairly and criminally underrated player his entire career, so it would be great for Batum to finally be in the spotlight on a contending team. He just does all the little things well, and he will do whatever it takes to help his team try to get the W…

      Again, if Houston wants a chance to beat Golden State, then they better pony up the extra money to acquire Batum…If not, then they’ll be sent home packing early..

  3. Where are now all the Okafor haters?
    Truly hope he has a great season & eventually can be the best player possible a true all-star.
    Totally agree with bravesfan88 about Batum if he is healthy is better than Ariza & could be a key piece for Houston if they can get him. Really Houston needs to do more this off season to keep up. Otherwise they might be overtaken at the #2.

  4. Connorsoxfan

    Batum for Anderson and a 2nd rounder or two would make sense. You have to throw in something to compensate for Batum being the better player.

    • x%sure

      Sure Batum would help HOU. But nobody is taking Anderson, I think on principle. Other GMs are tired of HOU pulling crap trying to get rid of him, although Morey did prove he was at least mildly interested in Melo all along. We will see how he works out there… Harden can fix things.

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