Jakob Poeltl re-signs with the Raptors for 4-years $80M

Jakob is back!

Poeltl returns to Toronto!

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.

The middle class of centers is where Poeltl ended up.

Middle class center contracts: Clint Capela: 21M / Myles Turner: 21M / Jarrett Allen: 20M / Jusuf Nurkic: 16.9M / Mitchell Robinson: 15.7M / Jonas Valanciunas: 15M

I know all these contracts look exorbitant and large, but 20M in 2023 is the same amount of cap space as 14M in 2016. Poeltl on 20M a year (with a rising cap!) is cheaper than Valanciunas’ first deal with the Raptors, Bismack Biyombo’s deal with the Magic, Timofey Mozgov’s deal with the Lakers – and for a player in contention for top-10 at his position. So, not expensive, just more money for the players – which is a good thing.

Okay, bye bye, have a blessed day.