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Mavs Sign-&-Trade Idea: Could Dallas Acquire Raptors’ Jakob Poeltl?

If Dallas is serious about upgrading at the center position, making a play for unrestricted free agent Jakob Poeltl could be the right move.

With the NBA draft just two days away, the final mock drafts from experts are being published and trade rumors from league insiders are hitting your Twitter timelines.

In Tuesday's latest version of ESPN's NBA mock draft, Jonathan Givony noted that with the unknown offseason path lingering over the Toronto Raptors, free-agent center Jakob Poeltl could look to sign elsewhere this summer.

"It's also not clear whether they will be able to meet the financial demands of center Jakob Poeltl in free agency, who prefers not to be in a rebuilding situation next season, sources told ESPN,” Givony wrote.

Though both Poeltl and the Raptors seem to have mutual interest in an extension, that could change on both sides if the team looks to rebuild or if Toronto comes to grips with the re-signing price being too high for their liking. 

If the latter part of that is the case, a sign-and-trade for Poeltl could come into play, which is where the Dallas Mavericks could enter the conversation. 

As The Athletic's John Hollinger estimates Poeltl's market and asking price starting at $20 million per year, the Mavericks could offer guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and the prospect selected with the No. 10 pick in Thursday's NBA draft for Poeltl and veteran forward Otto Porter Jr in a sign-and-trade.

This past season with the Spurs and Raptors, Poeltl averaged 12.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting just under 63 percent from the field in 72 games.

For Dallas, Poeltl would be that upgrade at center that you've been desperately looking for to anchor the middle of the floor. Offensively, the seven-year veteran is reliable around the basket while being sufficient in the pick-and-roll with above average passing ability for a big. On defense, though he may struggle being switched onto perimeter, Poeltl is a stout rim protector who will immediately step in as Dallas' best rebounder.

Adding Porter Jr. and his $6.3 million contract, which he opted into, to the deal is something that may help entice Toronto to pull the trigger on the trade as the team would reportedly like to get the veteran forward 'off their hands' per Sportsnet, who played just eight games for the Raptors last season before undergoing season-ending foot surgery.

As for Toronto, if a rebuild is indeed in their foresight, landing a top-10 prospect along with Hardaway Jr., who has two years remaining on his contract and could easily be moved later on, should be an attractive deal if they were to part with Poeltl.

Overall, Poeltl would seem to fit the price of the No. 10 pick worth and though taking back Porter Jr. isn't ideal, it's an expiring deal and if healthy, could play a solid veteran wing role for the Mavericks as he did for the Warriors in 2021-22.

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