Hey, look who’s back.
Here’s the podcast reaction:
So, the quick stuff:
The Raptors have traded Khem Birch, their 2024 protected first round pick, and two second round picks to the Spurs for Jakob Poeltl. Poeltl, who the Raptors drafted 9th overall — using the draft pick they got in the Andrea Bargnani trade — and packaged for Kawhi Leonard a couple years later, is back in the city.
Earlier today at the Raptors game, Nick Nurse said: “We loved him while he was here.” of Poeltl. He’s also very good friends with Pascal Siakam.
The quick stuff? Poeltl should allow the Raptors to play a few more packages defensively, and a at a more proficient rate. He should simplify some of their rotations while operating as a backstop, and he’ll absolutely help out on the defensive glass. He’s had a worse defensive year than most expected for him, but you can lean optimistic and chalk that up to the malaise of playing on a hapless Spurs team for so long.
Offensively, he’s a total non-shooter. The Raptors will have things to figure out regarding that, but he’s a plus-passer, and a plus-finisher. He’s providing something the Raptors haven’t had consistently on both ends of the floor in a long time.
Poeltl is averaging 12.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, .8 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game this season in 26 minutes per game.
Have a blessed day.
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