How will the Raptors re-sign Jakob Poeltl, the top-10 center?

Is he top-10? What will he be paid?

During Masai Ujiri's end of season presser, he said a lot of things. Most of them had to do with the firing of Nick Nurse that had happened that morning, but other questions about the team were asked and answered. One of those answers from Ujiri involved his labeling of Jakob Poeltl as a top-10 center in the NBA.

We're going to try and figure out Poeltl's value as a free agent in this piece, but first let's interrogate the top-10 claims. Let's rank the counting stats - and please allow me some license to nitpick who is deemed a center. Julius Randle gets sorted into the center category by the NBA, so I'll be plucking him and other players I don't think qualify, for example.

Since Poeltl joined the Raptors, among centers:

PPG: 17th / RBS: 15th / AST: 16th

Hanging around the top half of the league in offensive counting stats isn't so bad, especially when you're a defense-first center. Additionally, among the top-17 scoring centers, Poeltl ties Nikola Jokic for top marks in field-goal percentage (63.1%) and ranks high in true-shooting percentage. They built set-actions around his passing ability. They ran late offense through him as a dependable hub. Efficiency and dependability on offense, combined with game changing defense.

His pick n' roll offense also completely changed VanVleet's playmaking effectiveness, largely because of his unique brand of finishing. VanVleet had no high-efficiency passing partners (Siakam shot 39-percent on passes from VanVleet, Barnes shot 47-percent, Anunoby 40-percent, for example), but Poeltl converted on 65-percent of his looks from VanVleet - the Raptor who passed to him the most. This low-usage, high-efficiency combination was largely why the Raptors were so much better (+4.2) with him on offense.

Defensively, the case is really easy to make. The film is conclusive as we saw him change countless drives to the rim -- which was the Raptors #1 problem as a defense -- but we also saw the Raptors become confident in more conservative schemes that only Poeltl could make possible. His teammates benefitted tremendously, and the numbers back that up emphatically. The 17th ranked defense was turned into the 4th ranked defense with his presence. Evidenced by his hilarious defensive on/offs, where the Raptors were 10 points better with him on the floor; forcing more misses, collecting more rebounds, turning teams over more, and fouling less. He was transformative. Genius. Tremendous.

Poeltl isn't in the MVP class of centers, like Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic. He isn't in the class of power forwards who sometimes maraud as centers, and vice-versa, like Anthony Davis, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Domantas Sabonis, Bam Adebayo and Karl-Anthony Towns. There's a class of centers just below All-Star level like Rudy Gobert, Brook Lopez, Jarrett Allen, and Myles Turner. You have your breakouts like Nicolas Claxton, the old guard like Clint Capela - when weighing the impact on both sides of the floor, you'd probably feel pretty good at locating Raptors' Poeltl somewhere between 8 and 12? In the ballpark. That's all you need. In the ballpark of a top-10 center.

Now, what does a top-10 center get paid?