2016 NBA Draft: Jakob Poeltl scouting report
Jakob Poeltl 2016 NBA Draft scouting report
Jakob Poeltl scouting report
Jakob Poeltl is a traditional center that can play the modern style. The 20-year-old Austrian made rapid strides as a sophomore at Utah, improving in nearly every statistical category, but it’s difficult to project him beyond the level of a role player considering the state of today’s NBA.
Click through the slides for Poeltl's strengths, weaknesses, and his fit on the Celtics.
Poeltl came to Utah from Austria as a raw offensive player, but as a sophomore he developed a savvy low post game. He still lacks advanced moves, but his basic counters and smooth footwork hint at potential for progress.
But the low post won’t be his bread-and-butter in the NBA. It’ll be the pick-and-roll. Poeltl sets strong screens and has the nimble feet of a dancer as he shimmies his way to the rim. He’s right-hand dominant though, so improving his left hand is key.
Poeltl’s mobility also manifests on defense, where his light feet allow him to protect the rim at an above average level. He’s not a true shot blocker, but he plays with strong fundamentals and instincts both as a defender and rebounder.
Poeltl is limited on defense, despite some of his positive traits. He’s had trouble handling opponents with NBA size, which raises questions about his strength, toughness, and conditioning. He also has a short wingspan for his size and his narrow frame won’t support much more muscle.
It’s a shame Poeltl lacks a jumper since he’s a deft ball handler for his size. It’d add a new dimension to his offensive skill-set if he does add it. He did show flashes of a jumper playing for Team Austria though, and he became a 70 percent free throw shooter at Utah. If he displays the ability to shoot in pre-draft workouts, then it should boost his draft stock.
Jakob Poeltl is a fit for the Celtics in the same way Tyler Zeller has been the last two seasons. But there are no guarantees Poeltl even reaches Zeller’s level as a player. Regardless, we saw last season how Zeller got phased out of the rotation in favor of bigs who could space the floor.
It’s key for Poeltl to expand his game, otherwise he’ll just be a role player. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since he should have a long career. But there needs to be some upside.
Poeltl likely won’t be available for the Celtics at the No. 16 pick, so they’d need to move up to select him or reach with the No. 3 pick.
Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.