The Spurs are sending their “strongest signals” so far that they intend to trade center Jakob Poeltl before Thursday’s deadline, tweets Marc Stein. The organization’s attitude toward a potential deal seems to have changed over the past 24 hours, Stein adds, giving hope to teams interested in acquiring potentially the best center on the market.
The Celtics and Raptors have been frequently mentioned as possible landing spots for Poeltl, and Stein reported earlier today that the Wizards have expressed strong interest as well. The 27-year-old will be a free agent this summer, but San Antonio has plenty of cap room available if it decides to keep him.
The Raptors and Spurs have discussed a deal involving Thaddeus Young and draft assets in exchange for Poeltl, according to Stein (Twitter link). The Spurs played in Toronto tonight, so Poeltl faced questions about the possibility of being traded there, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express News.
“I just try to focus on the here and now,” Poeltl said. “There is a lot of noise, and I try to keep it out as much as possible and just try to focus on these games.”
There’s more on the trade front:
- It appears John Wall‘s time with the Clippers will end soon, whether he’s traded on Thursday or not, Stein adds (Twitter link). A source tells Stein that L.A. will pursue a buyout deal with Wall if it can’t find a taker by the deadline, echoing a report from Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times earlier this week. Wall has appeared in just 34 games and hasn’t played since January 13 because of an abdominal injury.
- Nearly every contending team has called the Nets to check on Kevin Durant‘s availability, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. There has been speculation that Durant might want out after Kyrie Irving was traded to Dallas, but Brooklyn’s front office is telling everyone that it plans to hold on to Durant.
- The Pistons have been active in trade talks, but they’re not committed to moving Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks or Saddiq Bey before the deadline, per James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. The Knicks, Bucks and Lakers have expressed the most interest in Bogdanovic, but they don’t appear to be offering the draft assets that Detroit wants. Edwards suggests the Pistons might try to use the expiring contracts of Cory Joseph, Nerlens Noel and Hamidou Diallo — worth about $19MM combined — to pick up a player under contract beyond this season.