It’s official — The San Antonio Spurs and restricted free agent Jakob Poeltl agreed to terms on a three-year contract to keep him in silver and black.
After other teams got to have their fun once the floodgates opened at 6:00 p.m. EST, the San Antonio Spurs came to terms with one of the most crucial aspects of their offseason. Center Jakob Poeltl is officially returning to San Antonio on a three-year contract worth $27 million — Roughly, the mid-level exception.
This was a fantastic deal for the Spurs, who’ve been relatively quiet through this portion of the offseason. Ultimately, Jakob Poeltl is an important part of the San Antonio Spurs’ young core. Finding a better true rim protector in the NBA would cost the team draft picks, time and plenty of cash. Bringing him back on a team-friendly three-year deal is a revelation for general manager Brian Wright.
Poeltl isn’t going to magically transform into a star, but he’s got plenty of moxie. He’s never going to make it easy for his opponent to score near the rim and his pure skill gets overlooked within the confines of his role. Once San Antonio finally commits to the youth movement, whether by choice or by the changing tides of this league, Poeltl is going to be there for this team.
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With bigs flying off the shelves on the first night of free agency, seeing Poeltl’s price tag was a great relief. San Antonio seems to be minimizing its transactions with many millions of dollars freeing up on their cap sheet in 2021. The group seems to like each other and they truly seem to embody the core values of the franchise. Poeltl is a critical puzzle piece that fits into this equation.
It should be noted that Poeltl underperformed in Orlando, but the Spurs organization isn’t ready to judge his development based on an unlikely eight-game stretch. Learning from his one-on-one matchups with all-world talent is going to help Poeltl become a better player in the long run.
Front offices with big investments into analytics had their eyes on Poeltl, even if potential suitors haven’t been named publically. Defensively, he’s considered one of the most impactful rotation centers in the sport despite having a semi-limited skill set. Regardless of his shortcomings, few players know how to use their physical tools and brains as Poeltl does on a basketball court and that shouldn’t be understated.
Don’t be surprised when Poeltl’s the starting center for the Spurs, swatting shots and locking down opposing centers in a few seasons.