Jakob Poeltl should be a trade target for the Milwaukee Bucks

May 10, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
May 10, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /

As we inch closer to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Milwaukee Bucks could be interested in bolstering the roster by targeting San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl.

At a little over seven feet tall, Poeltl has had a respectful career as a rim protector, paint cleanser, and defensive anchor. The 26-year-old big man is having a productive season thus far, averaging 13.3 points, nine rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor.

With the 2022 NBA trade deadline looming closer, seven-foot center Jakob Poeltl could be a potential trade target for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Spurs seem to be heading into more of a rebuilding direction nowadays, so they have reportedly made Jakob Poeltl available in trade talks for the right price. Teams that are in a “win-now” mode and have an appetite for frontcourt depth should be interested in acquiring Poeltl before the February 10th deadline hits.

It’s safe to say that the Milwaukee Bucks surely fit that description. Due to the extended absence of starting center Brook Lopez, the Bucks have been haunted by a lack of front court depth throughout the entire season. Lopez has been sidelined with a back injury since opening night in October.

At this moment in time, Milwaukee’s healthy rotational big men that are under contract include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, and rookie Sandro Mamukelashvili (two-way contract). Clearly, the Bucks need to address this issue leading up to the deadline, especially if there’s just a slim chance that Lopez could miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Jakob Poeltl would either take over the starting center spot and push Portis back to the sixth man role or serve as the backup center and keep Portis in the starting lineup, at least until Lopez comes back healthy. Poeltl’s presence would exert a similar impact to Lopez’s on the defensive end, but not as effective offensively.

If acquired, the Spurs’ valued center would immediately make a difference within Milwaukee’s schemes, system, and rotations. Nevertheless, it may be difficult for the Bucks to match San Antonio’s price tag. Let’s take a look at what the Milwaukee Bucks can offer for the services of Jakob Poeltl.

What can the Milwaukee Bucks offer for Jakob Poeltl?

According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), the San Antonio Spurs are reportedly seeking a first-round pick and a “quality player” in exchange for Jakob Poeltl. It’s a high asking price, but the Spurs could be open to accepting a little less than that valuation as they continue trending toward a rebuild.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ lack tradeable assets compared to other teams since they do not have a first-round pick to offer, but they have a couple of second-round picks and two enticing, young prospects in Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Nwora.

The Bucks don’t seem to have the desire to trade DiVincenzo right now, but the 25-year-old combo guard would most certainly have to be included in any deal for Poeltl. If there’s a legit opportunity for Milwaukee to acquire someone like Poeltl though, they would likely sacrifice DiVincenzo.

A package headlined by DiVincenzo is sadly the best the Bucks would probably offer for Poeltl. They could add multiple second-round picks, a promising sharpshooter in Nwora, and salary fillers such as Rodney Hood’s $2.2 million expiring contract and Semi Ojeleye’s $1.7 million expiring contract.

Although, it’s doubtful that the Spurs would consider an offer of say DiVincenzo, Jordan Nwora, Rodney Hood or Semi Ojeleye, and two or three second-round picks. The salaries would match up to Poeltl’s $8.7 million annual earnings and it would at least be something to think about, but San Antonio would most likely rather maintain him or receive a better package from another suitor.

3 teams the Milwaukee Bucks should call before 2022 NBA Trade Deadline. dark. Next

As a result, it seems unlikely that the Milwaukee Bucks could pull off a trade with the Spurs for Jakob Poeltl, but you really never know. Poeltl could easily still become a top target for the Bucks as an available, affordable, and impactful trade option ahead of the deadline, so pursuing the seven-foot center could be worth a try.