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The Celtics and Raptors are interested in a trade for Tottenham Hotspur striker Jacob Poeltl.

Spurs center Jakob Pöltl has been in trade talks around him for nearly a year now. It looks like everyone in the league has looked at what Poeltl has to offer and how he can fit into their systems. With the Spurs in full recovery mode and Poeltl probably too talented for that, other teams have been circling the big man for quite some time now.

Poeltl, now in his seventh season, became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. San Antonio had an ongoing offer for four years and $58 million since the beginning of this year, but according to The Athletic’s Shams Charanya, that deal was rejected. Charania’s sources reportedly believe that Poeltl’s desire to compete at a higher level will be a factor when he considers free rein.

Jacob Poeltle #25 of the San Antonio Spurs during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum on January 9, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Spurs clearly want him around and could get a bigger deal in the offseason, but it’s risky. By the time summer hits, Poeltl will be able to sign wherever he wants and that will leave the Spurs with nothing. So the Spurs have a difficult decision to make: take the chance that he will sign a new contract, or play it safe and trade him now to get the assets back while they can still do so.

However, the Spurs would like to keep him if they can, especially if they win the first pick in the NBA draft lottery. But ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski expects significant offers will be made for Poeltl. Centers have become much more desirable this year as rival teams know they need size to compete against standouts like Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Teams reportedly showing significant interest include the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. Boston proved to be an effective trading partner for San Antonio last year at the deal deadline. The Celtics sent Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick that eventually turned into Blake Wesley, and a 2028 pick to the Spurs in exchange for Derrick White.

According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, San Antonio is looking for something similar for Poeltle.

Jacob Poeltle, No. 25 of the San Antonio Spurs, takes on No. 17 Jonas Valansiunas of the New Orleans Pelicans for the first-half rebounding position at the AT&T Center on November 23, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.

Jacob Poeltle, No. 25 of the San Antonio Spurs, takes on No. 17 Jonas Valansiunas of the New Orleans Pelicans for the first-half rebounding position at the AT&T Center on November 23, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.

Ronald Cortez/Getty Images

The Celtics themselves may not need Pöltle. They already have some big players but have also had some injury issues and it might make sense to have some insurance at Pöltle as a backup. Toronto would be an interesting move because that’s the team that originally picked Poeltl. Also, the Raptors did something of an experiment, playing mostly full wing lineups. An exchange for a traditional center would mean abandoning this experiment.

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