Raptors acquire Jakob Poeltl from Spurs for Canada’s Birch, draft picks: reports
The Toronto Raptors have reportedly made their first move of the NBA trade deadline — and it’s for a familiar face.
Toronto sent Canadian centre Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round pick and two future second-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for centre Jakob Poeltl early Thursday morning, according to multiple media reports.
ESPN first reported the move.
That deal laid the foundation for the Raptors’ championship run in 2019, with Leonard earning NBA Finals MVP honours.
Poeltl, who was already in Toronto on Wednesday night as the Spurs lost to the Raptors 112-98, spoke about the possibility of being traded again after the game.
“I just try to focus on the here and now for the most part,” said the 27-year-old. “I know there’s a lot of noise and stuff. I’m just trying to keep it out as much as possible, just trying to focus on these games now.
“Whatever happens by whatever time it is tomorrow, I’ll deal with it then.”
Upgrade at the five spot
Poeltl is a significant upgrade at centre for the Raptors, who have been searching for a capable hand at the five spot for several seasons.
Poeltl is averaging 12.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 26.1 minutes per game across 45 appearances for the Spurs this season.
Birch, from Montreal, is averaging 2.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 0.3 blocks in 8.1 minutes per game over 20 games this season.
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