Could there be another NBA Trade Deadline trade between the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs on the horizon?
After adding Derrick White at last year’s deadline, the Celtics appear to have significant interest in Spurs talented big man Jakob Poeltl and we’re all for it. The problem is, could San Antonio’s asking price of “two first-round picks” sway Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens away from such a deal.
Unlike Danny Ainge, Stevens isn’t afraid to lose a deal if it is the right deal that can solidify his team as a title favorite. Poeltl would do that as a scoring big who can rebound and is active around the rim on both ends of the court, especially as a rim protector in averaging 1.3 blocks per game this season.
Boston Celtics big man rotation would be da bomb!
Just imagine him on the court with Robert Williams or Al Horford?
But, as giddy as Celtics fans would get about the potential of Poeltl joining the mix, the fact that he will be a free agent following the season is a reason the Celtics and other teams may pause on giving up two first round picks for a rental. So that price will have to come down if the Spurs hope to get anything for a player who will walk in free agency anyway.
But Stevens and the front office will worry about that if they do have a heavy interest in Poeltl. On the basketball court, this type of move would really solidify the Celtics front court rotation and provide insurance in case Williams goes down again or even just to give the old bones of Al Horford some rest towards the end of the season.
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As a starting caliber center, the 7-foot-1 Poeltl could allow for the Celtics to go to a two big man starting five with any combination of the three. His rebounding and inside presence will also allow the Celtics to compete against some of the top teams with active big men they have problems with. The Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are a few of the teams that come to mind.
The real value here is the insurance he would provide. As mentioned, Robert Williams is an injury prone player who makes the Boston Celtics a very different defensive team when he is healthy. As seen in last year’s playoff run, no Williams on the court was an issue when the team had to battle against the likes of Bam Adebayo.
Along with providing that insurance for Williams, another big man the caliber of Poeltl allows Horford to stay fresh as his minutes would come down and not playing him on back-to-backs won’t be such a loss as the season really heats up.
In concluding, it really all comes down to the asking price for the Celtics to pull the trigger on this deal. If the Spurs are willing to take a player like Payton Prichard in the deal, along with a first-round pick.
It could be worth it because that pick would be a late first-round pick. It would give Prichard more playing time in San Antonio and secure one of the few weaknesses the top team in the NBA has at the moment.