Sources: Raptors bulk up, get Poeltl from Spurs


The Toronto Raptors are acquiring San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl in exchange for Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round draft pick and two future second-round picks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In Poeltl, the Raptors are bringing back the center they drafted, developed and traded for Kawhi Leonard with an intention of signing him to a new contract this summer, sources told Wojnarowski.

The Spurs acquired Poeltl, 27, in a deal that sent Leonard to Toronto in 2018. Poeltl has since developed into one of the better defensive centers in the league.

Poeltl is averaging 12.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 26 minutes per game this season. He ranks in the top 10 this season in offensive rebound percentage and total rebound percentage and has ranked in the top five in blocks in the two seasons before this one.

He’s also shooting 62.7% for his career, the sixth-best mark since he entered the league in 2016-17 (minimum 1,000 field goal attempts.)

Poeltl has one year left after this season on the rookie extension he signed back in 2020.

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