Trade ideas tend to run amuck this time of year. And while Poeltl’s future is uncertain in San Antonio, it’s an interesting thought to see what the Spurs could get in return for him ahead of next year or before the mid-season trade deadline.
NBA Analysis Network dipped its foot into these hypothetical waters once again, this time, coming up with a trade scenario that would involve the Spurs making a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
In this fantasy, Poeltl would head to LA to join forces with the star player San Antonio traded for him back in 2018, Kawhi Leonard.
Here's the trade:
San Antonio Spurs Receive: G/F Amir Coffey, G/F Brandon Boston Jr.
LA Clippers Receive: Jakob Poeltl
This is a trade the Clippers could realistically agree to given their lack of depth at center. Ivica Zubac is essentially LA’s only reliable interior big man.
Offensively, he’s probably right at the level or slightly ahead of Poeltl. On defense, Poeltl has a strong edge.
But let’s look at the Spurs’ return.
Boston is the most exciting of the two, as he displayed unique scoring prowess and all-natural feel as a rookie, showing comfortability as a face-up scorer and ball-handler while showing flashes of impressive defensive instincts.
Strangely enough, Boston's career-high 27-point performance came in a win over the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics last season.
His length allowed him to get up a high release point on his jumper over the outstretched arms of All-NBA defensive center Robert Williams, who has become one of the league’s most elite shot-blockers both on the inside and perimeter.
Boston also showed he can win head-to-head matchups against Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
A second-round pick, he appeared in 51 games for coach Tyronn Lue while averaging 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and one assist per game last season.
At just 20-years-old with impressive size at 6-6, 188, Boston is still a raw prospect, but he's one of the more exciting and underrated young talents in the league.
Coffey is no slouch either. He's an elite left-handed shooter that has proven ability to fill it up at a high rate. With nice touch and spot-up shooting ability, he’d make an interesting addition in San Antonio.
Last season, he averaged nine points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. His minutes wavered at times, but he had eight performances of 20 points or more, including two 30-point games in April.
In his final appearance of the season, he posted 35 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists on 7-10 3-point shooting in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The only major piece lacking in this trade is the acquisition of any draft pick. Ideally, any trade the Spurs would make in the foreseeable future would involve at least some sort of draft stock.
And of course, trading Poeltl would leave the Spurs with a major defensive hole in the interior. It’s not easy replacing his shot-blocking prowess, but San Antonio could instead lean on the side of small-ball lineups with rookie Jeremy Sochan at the five. However, this is still a little ways away from being a realistically successful lineup strategy.
But in trading for Boston, the Spurs would be acquiring a young player with All-Star level potential given his current trajectory. Adding Coffey provides additional shooting, which obviously never hurts.
Parting with Poeltl is tough, but the Spurs could hypothetically look to trade him while his value is still high and aim for another frontcourt prospect in next year’s draft.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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