Boston Celtics

As the NBA trade deadline inches closer, the rumors are starting to pick up. With just under 24 hours to go until the deadline on Wednesday afternoon, one of those rumors suggested the Celtics may be pursuing Spurs center Jakob Poeltl.

That pursuit, however real it was at the time, is now over as Poeltl was dealt to the Toronto Raptors in the very early hours of Wednesday morning. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the deal, which has Toronto sending center Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round pick, and two future second-round picks back to San Antonio.

  • Poeltl, 27, has averaged 12.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this season making 45 starts for the Spurs. The 7-foot-1, 245 pound center is also viewed as one of the better defensive big men in the league and would have given the Celtics the depth and insurance between Robert Williams and Al Horford they’ve seemingly been looking for.

    Originally a Raptors draft pick back in 2016, Poeltl was then dealt to San Antonio as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade. Now, Toronto hopes to sign him long-term according to Wojnarowski. Poeltl is currently in the final year of his contract.

    Poeltl rejoins a Toronto squad that is a bit of a tweener right now. The Raptors are currently 26-30 and sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, but have won three games in a row and six of their last 10. They could look to make a push, but may not be done trading either. About an hour after breaking the Poeltl trade, Woj reported that Toronto is still discussing deals involving forward O.G. Anunoby, who has started 45 games for them and is averaging 16.9 points per game this season.

    As for the Celtics, their search for another big man moves on past Poeltl. Other players they have been reportedly targeting include Kelly Olynyk of the Jazz, Nerlens Noel of the Pistons, and Mo Bamba of the Magic.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at