The Boston Celtics reportedly have expressed "significant interest" in Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, but San Antonio won't part with him easily, it appears.
The Spurs have "made it known" that they want "two first-round picks" in exchange for Poeltl, The Athletic's Jared Weiss reported Wednesday.
As Weiss noted, San Antonio took a similar stance with Derrick White, whom Boston acquired at the 2022 NBA trade deadline for a 2022 first-round pick (No. 25) and a 2028 first-round pick swap. The key difference here is that White is under contract until 2025, while Poeltl will be a free agent this summer, which significantly lowers his value.
Forsberg: On Jakob Poeltl and the Celtics' trade deadline dilemma
Poeltl, 27, is a talented young player who's averaging 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 blocks per game for San Antonio. He'd be excellent frontcourt insurance for the injury-prone Robert Williams and the 36-year-old Al Horford, and his $9.4 million expiring contract isn't cheap but also isn't prohibitive.
Still, two first-rounders is too much to pay for a rental -- especially if you're the NBA-leading Celtics, whose only justification for adding another rotation player would be to protect against injuries.
The Spurs' asking price likely will drop between now and the Feb. 9 trade deadline as they position for a lottery pick. But if it doesn't drop by much, expect Brad Stevens and Co. to hold off on any Poeltl deal.