Jakob Poeltl

Spurs, Hornets Discussing Jakob Poeltl, P.J. Washington

The Spurs and Hornets have discussed a possible trade that would send center Jakob Poeltl to Charlotte, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

League sources tell Scotto that the proposed deal would see San Antonio acquire Hornets forward P.J. Washington, rookie big man Kai Jones, and a first-round pick. However, the two sides are haggling over the possible inclusion of that draft pick, says Scotto.

Charlotte has long been in the market for a center and is one of the many teams that have been linked to Poeltl. Toronto and Chicago were also mentioned as potential suitors for the big man leading up to the deadline, and Scotto says the Mavericks have expressed interest too.

Poeltl has emerged as a two-way force this season, averaging a career-high 13.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 45 games (28.8 MPG). He’s also San Antonio’s top rim protector, with 1.7 BPG.

The Spurs, meanwhile, have been one of the league’s busiest teams in the last month as they look to collect draft assets and young talent. According to Scotto, San Antonio considered drafting Jones at No. 12 last July before ultimately opting for Joshua Primo. Presumably, the Spurs are still high on Jones despite the fact that he hasn’t shown much yet at the NBA level, logging just 46 minutes across 16 games.

Washington has been solid again this season for Charlotte, averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.5 RPG on .446/.386/.729 shooting, but has seen his role reduced. He’s coming off the bench and is averaging a career-low 24.6 minutes per game after averaging 30+ MPG in each of his first two NBA seasons.

Trade Rumors: Harden, Simmons, Barnes, Dragic, Fournier, Hawks

A number of NBA reporters have expressed skepticism that a James Harden/Ben Simmons mega-deal will come to fruition this week, citing sources who say it almost certainly won’t happen. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst remains bullish on the possibility of the Nets and Sixers figuring something out before Thursday’s trade deadline.

[RELATED: Sixers, Nets Engaged In Trade Talks On Tuesday]

Appearing on ESPN’s Greeny with Mike Greenberg (video link), Windhorst said the two teams are “absolutely” talking and negotiating possible terms, and suggested Harden would welcome a deal.

“Yesterday, the 76ers were out looking for other moves, talking to other teams about other moves – moving players, opening roster spots – leading those teams to believe that they were getting ready to make the (Harden/Simmons) deal,” Windhorst said. “They have swapped offers, and really right now it’s about haggling (over) the ancillary parts.

“Now, does that mean it’s absolutely going to get done by tomorrow? No, I can’t say that. I’m not sitting in the room. It’s complicated. … But they are in the ‘deal zone’ right now, and so I am leaning toward this probably happening. I don’t want to guarantee it or anything, but I think we’re headed in that direction.”

In an appearance of his own on Greenberg’s show, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) cast doubt on his colleague’s reporting.

“I try not to do the prediction business because you follow the news where it leads,” Wojnarowski said when asked about the likelihood of a Harden/Simmons swap. “But right now, there’s no negotiation going on between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3:00, it can change. But the idea that they’re going back and forth that’s been surmised by some, I don’t believe that to be accurate. … I think, barring a flurry of negotiations and activity that hasn’t happened yet, right now James Harden is likely to be with the Nets.”

Here are a few more trade rumors from across the NBA:

  • Although the Kings continue to explore potential trades involving forward Harrison Barnes, they’ve told teams they’re not interested in packages heavy on future assets, per Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Sacramento remains focused on competing for the playoffs this season and would want players that could help right away.
  • After a report on Tuesday indicated New York has shown interest in acquiring expiring contracts, Mannix suggests the Knicks could “jump in the mix” for Raptors point guard Goran Dragic. However, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) says Toronto doesn’t see Evan Fournier as a fit. The Knicks continue to shop Fournier’s long-term contract around, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • Grange also reports that the Spurs have rebuffed the Raptors‘ interest in center Jakob Poeltl and are seeking more than just a mid first-round pick and expiring salary in exchange for Poeltl.
  • The Hawks have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors in recent weeks, with players like John Collins and Danilo Gallinari cited as candidates to be on the move. However, a person familiar with the situation told Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, as of Tuesday night, there was about a 90% chance that the Hawks would simply stand pat this week.

Fischer’s Latest: Nuggets, Fox, Poeltl, Brunson, Buyouts

Nuggets forward JaMychal Green and guard Facundo Campazzo are considered available in trade talks, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Mike Singer of The Denver Post also recently identified Green and Campazzo as two players the Nuggets would probably be willing to move as they seek a defensive-oriented small forward.

The Nuggets’ ability to trade Green could be complicated by his ability to veto any trade that involves him. A source tells Singer that the veteran forward wouldn’t accept a move to a non-contending team.

Here are a few more trade rumors, courtesy of Fischer:

  • The Knicks and Pelicans have held exploratory conversations for Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, says Fischer, whose report was published before New Orleans reached an agreement to acquire CJ McCollum — it’s probably safe to assume the Pels are no longer a candidate to pursue Fox.
  • The Hornets are among the teams interested in Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, per Fischer. Toronto and Chicago have previously been reported as potential suitors for Poeltl.
  • The Pistons remain very interested in Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, but may have to wait until free agency if they want to make a play for him, according to Fischer, who says Dallas is still committed to retaining Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith through the deadline.
  • Nets big man Paul Millsap, Kings center Tristan Thompson, Rockets guard D.J. Augustin, and guard Tomas Satoransky (who is reportedly being traded to the Trail Blazers) are considered potential buyout candidates, writes Fischer.

Trade Rumors: Pelicans, Bulls, Poeltl, Grant, Nets

The Pelicans, who have been described as trade deadline buyers, are making an effort to fortify their core, Marc Stein reports at Substack.com. In addition to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, New Orleans views Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones as part of that core, according to Stein, so those players appear to be off limits in trade talks.

While the Pelicans are apparently unwilling to move Valanciunas or Jones, they do have other players who would appeal to trade partners. Most notably, Stein suggests that forward Josh Hart, who is in the midst of a career year, could be on the move this week. Multiple previous reports have indicated Hart may be a trade candidate.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Bulls made an offer for center Jakob Poeltl that was centered around a first-round pick, but they were rebuffed by the Spurs, according to Stein. Chicago has already traded away two of its own future first-round selections – including one to San Antonio – so the pick in the offer for Poeltl may have been Portland’s 2022 first-rounder, which is top-14 protected and appears unlikely to convey this year.
  • In his preview of the Pistons‘ trade-deadline week, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says the Wizards, Kings, and Trail Blazers are the teams that have exhibited the most interest in Jerami Grant. Sources tell Edwards that the Nets have also “poked around,” but are a longer shot to acquire the forward.
  • Within his look at the James Harden and Ben Simmons situations, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports that the Nets have been looking for more shooting on the wing. That makes sense, given that Joe Harris‘ status for the second half and postseason remains up in the air. O’Connor also echoes some of the same points made in a series of other Harden/Simmons reports this morning, including reiterating that the Sixers aren’t willing to entertain trading Tyrese Maxey this week.

Scotto’s Latest: McCollum, Covington, Finney-Smith, Raptors, Gallinari

In the wake of Friday’s trade that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers, many executives around the league expect the Trail Blazers to move CJ McCollum either before the deadline or during the offseason, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The Pelicans and Mavericks are among the teams with interest in McCollum, Scotto adds.

Joe Cronin, the interim general manager in Portland, said the trade with L.A. was designed to create more playing time for Anfernee Simons, who has emerged as a potential star in his fourth NBA season. Cronin calls Simons, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, a “core piece” and said the team “wanted to create a runway here for him.” The same reasoning could apply to moving the 30-year-old McCollum, who will make $69.13MM over the next two seasons.

Scotto shares a few more trade-related tidbits:

  • After Friday’s trade was completed, several teams called the Clippers to see if they were interested in flipping Covington, who has a $12.975MM expiring contract. However, L.A. sees Covington as insurance if Nicolas Batum decides to turn down his $3.3MM player option this summer and would consider re-signing him even if Batum remains with the team. Scotto views Serge Ibaka as the next Clipper who might be traded.
  • Sources tell Scotto that the Mavericks passed on an offer of a potential late-lottery pick in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith. The 28-year-old forward will be a free agent this summer, but Scotto cites “sentiment around the league” that Finney-Smith is outplaying his maximum extension of $55.6MM over four years.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner is among the names the Raptors have considered in their search for help in the middle. Scotto identifies Jakob PoeltlRobert WilliamsNicolas Claxton and Jusuf Nurkic as other potential Toronto targets, saying the Raptors have considered offering a first-round pick to the Spurs for Poeltl. The price for Turner would be even higher, as Indiana wants either two first-round picks or one first-rounder and a young player with potential.
  • The Raptors are among several teams with interest in acquiring veteran forward Danilo Gallinari from the Hawks. Scotto notes that Goran Dragic, who hasn’t played since November, could be used to help match salaries in a deal with Atlanta.

Stein’s Latest: Collins, Hawks, Poeltl, Turner, Fox, Lopez

Hawks big man John Collins appears increasingly unlikely to be traded before next Thursday’s deadline, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. As Stein explains, Atlanta has been involved in plenty of trade discussions in recent weeks, but the team is playing well lately and seems inclined to push any Collins deal into the offseason.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe conveyed a similar sentiment earlier today. While he didn’t focus specifically on Collins or any other player, Lowe reported that the Hawks remain active in trade talks, but don’t appear to feel the same urgency to make a move that they did a couple weeks ago.

Here are a few more trade rumors from Stein’s latest roundup:

  • The Spurs would require a first-round pick and a quality player in order to part with center Jakob Poeltl, according to Stein, who says the Bulls are among the teams to express interest in the big man. Stein previously identified Toronto as another club with interest in Poeltl.
  • Stein was told on Friday morning that the odds of Pacers big man Myles Turner being moved before the February 10 deadline are a “coin flip.” Turner seemed more likely to be dealt before he sustained a stress fracture in his foot that cooled his market.
  • Despite the Kingsinsistence that they want to keep De’Aaron Fox and build around him and Tyrese Haliburton, Stein says numerous teams still believe Sacramento would be willing to part with Fox.
  • Teams have inquired on center Robin Lopez, but it’s unclear how interested the Magic are in trading him, Stein writes.

Raptors Interested In Jakob Poeltl?

Three-and-a-half years after they traded Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard blockbuster, the Raptors are said to be interested in reacquiring the veteran center, according to Marc Stein, who adds that Toronto has been exploring upgrades at the center position “for some time.”

Poeltl, 26, is enjoying a career year so far in San Antonio, establishing new career highs in PPG (12.4), RPG (8.8), and APG (2.7) through 34 games (28.6 MPG). He’s in the second season of a team-friendly three-year contract that will pay him $8.75MM this season and $9.4MM in 2021/22.

The Raptors likely don’t have any regrets about moving Poeltl in 2018, considering that trade helped buoy the franchise to its first-ever championship. However, the team has struggled to find reliable options at center since the departures of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in 2020.

The idea of adding Poeltl as a rim protector to complement talented, rangy defenders like Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam is an intriguing one. Poeltl could also be a good fit on offense as a rim-running pick-and-roll partner for Fred VanVleet.

Still, it’s unclear how motivated the Spurs would be to move Poeltl or what they’d want in return. San Antonio already has more talent and depth in its backcourt than its frontcourt, so the team may be reluctant to part with its starting center. If the Spurs are open to offers, Toronto could theoretically attach second-year big man Precious Achiuwa and/or draft assets to Chris Boucher‘s expiring $7MM contract.

Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Landale, Zion, Silas

Spurs center Jakob Poeltl returned to action last Thursday after missing six games due to COVID-19, but he’s still feeling the effects of the layoff, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. Poeltl, who is fully vaccinated, was in the league’s health and safety protocols for 16 days and said the adjustment of returning to a full-time schedule has been difficult.

“I had to get my conditioning, but also sitting at home for a week and a half, you’re not shooting the basketball,” he said. “It’s tough to get back in game rhythm. But it’s feeling better with every minute I am out there.”

Poeltl, who moved into the starting lineup in the middle of last season, has been putting up career-best numbers this year with 12.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He said recovering from the virus has been different than coming back after being injured.

“It’s a little weird, because with getting COVID and stuff, it takes the wind away,” Poeltl said. “Everybody is cautious about running or whether you’re putting out too much energy. So even the build-up process was slower than it would be for a regular injury.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs rookie center Jock Landale has also cleared protocols, McDonald adds. Landale, who has only appeared in four games this season, is available tonight for the first time since November 10.
  • The Pelicans are waiting for a foot specialist to process the latest scans on Zion Williamson, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Williamson has been playing 1-on-1 and 3-on-3 games, but hasn’t been cleared to participate in practice. The team expects the results to be available within a few days.
  • Amid rumors about his job security, Rockets coach Stephen Silas hasn’t lost track of his dual responsibilities of trying to get a few wins while developing his young players, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. “It’s yeah, we want to win a game,” Silas said in tonight’s pre-game session with the media. “We want to get off this (15-game losing) streak. We want to get off this slide and I want it so badly for the group, but I also understand it’s developing these guys and I got to do both.”

Spurs Notes: Johnson, Popovich, Murray, Poeltl, Eubanks, Young

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson has signed with Klutch Sports for representation, the agency announced earlier this week (via Twitter). Johnson is still on his rookie contract, but will become extension-eligible for the first time during the 2022 offseason.

As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes, Johnson was previously represented by Fundamental Sports Management, an agency based in San Antonio. Johnson said he has “nothing but good words to say” about FSM, but decided that a change in representation was the best business move for his career.

“It was long and thought-out, but at the end of the day, I am up and coming, and I just wanted the best representation,” Johnson said.

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • The Spurs’ 4-11 record is tied for the third-worst mark in the NBA, but head coach Gregg Popovich is still having a good time working with his young roster, Orsborn writes for the Express-News. “They are growing, doing little things better all the time,” Popovich said after Tuesday’s loss to the Clippers. “Frustrating to lose, but when a team is working that hard and willing to learn, it’s enjoyable as hell, even in a loss. I’m proud of the way they are competing. Now we just have to make fewer mistakes and have a couple of guys play better.”
  • Dejounte Murray, who is in the second season of a four-year contract with San Antonio, has been a bright spot for the team so far, as Orsborn says in another Express-News story. “We haven’t exactly amazed the world, but if we didn’t have him we would be in big trouble,” Popovich said on Thursday. “He’s looking for other teammates to join him in playing as well as he is.” Murray struggled in the Spurs’ Thursday loss to Minnesota, but still has impressive season-long averages of 18.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG.
  • After missing seven games due to a symptomatic case of COVID-19, Jakob Poeltl returned to action on Thursday. However, he’s facing a minutes restriction and was limited to a season-low 15 minutes in his return. “I honestly felt pretty good conditioning-wise,” he said after the game, per Orsborn. “But I feel like I still need to get my rhythm again. It’s kind of weird playing these short, limited minutes. It’s tough to get into the game.”
  • In yet another story for the Express-News, Orsborn takes a closer look at the bond that has developed between young center Drew Eubanks and veteran forward Thaddeus Young, who has served as a mentor to Eubanks. “We have a great relationship,” Eubanks said. “He’s always in my ear.”

Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Finney-Smith, Green, Kleber

Jakob Poeltl has been out since November 1 due to the league’s health and safety protocols and the Spurs have missed his inside presence, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Poeltl is the team’s top rebounder at 9.7 per game.

“We are a small team,” Spurs forward Thaddeus Young said. “We are shorthanded most nights as far as getting rebounds and being physical under the basket.”

Poeltl is back with the Spurs, but won’t play on Tuesday due to reconditioning.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Some Mavericks fans are lobbying for Reggie Bullock to be inserted in the lineup, but Dorian Finney-Smith has stepped up his game as of late, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Finney-Smith had a season-high 15 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three assists against San Antonio on Friday. “When you take your mind off the shooting, it kind of takes the pressure away,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there with a lot of energy and shoot the ball with confidence — and worry about [shooting percentage] less.” Finney-Smith, who added eight points against Denver on Monday, will be a free agent after the season.
  • Pelicans first-year Willie Green has kept a consistent message despite the team’s struggles, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes. Green has emphasized effort, relentlessness and competitiveness, and the players have remained in his corner. “Willie has the ultimate trust in me to go out there and play my game and play with confidence,” Josh Hart said.
  • Maxi Kleber is “progressing” from his left oblique strain, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) and other media members. He has begun doing on-court drills but he’s not doing any contact yet. He suffered the injury on October 31.