The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9, so contending teams have a little less than four weeks to find deals to improve their roster for the upcoming playoffs.
The Boston Celtics are the best team in the league with a 33-12 record following Jayson Tatum's 51-point performance in a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday afternoon.
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The Celtics would be wise to make an upgrade or two before the trade deadline. Boston has a deep roster with few weaknesses, but it's always good to have extra options in case of injuries.
One position on the Celtics roster that could use a little more talent and depth is center. Robert Williams is a tremendous player but has missed a lot of games in his career due to injuries, including the first 29 games of this season. Al Horford has played a key role in the team's success, too, but he's 36 years old.
Adding another starting-caliber center would be ideal, and one such player expected to be available is Jakob Poeltl of the San Antonio Spurs.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday that Poeltl "has gained significant trade interest from teams such as the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, according to league sources who, like all the other sources in this story, were granted anonymity so that they would be able to speak freely."
Charania also reports "The Spurs have had a standing offer to Poeltl for his maximum extension of four years and $58 million since before the season, but that has been declined, league sources say."
Poeltl is averaging 12.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He's 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds. His interior defense is good, and he's a strong rebounder. The 27-year-old veteran doesn't have great athleticism and also won't be a threat to shoot from 3-point range, but his inside presence at both ends of the floor is definitely valuable.
Poeltl is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so it's possible that any team acquiring him would only have him for a few months as a rental, unless of course that squad re-signs him.
The Spurs could be an active team at the trade deadline. They have the fourth-worst record in the league at 13-31 and figure to be a team hopeful of getting the best odds to win the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery. This year's lottery should be a historic one with elite prospects Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson headlining the 2023 class.