Breaking down a proposed Clippers trade with Spurs for Poetl

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images) /
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Ivica Zubac, LA Clippers
Ivica Zubac, LA Clippers (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

LA Clippers trade for Jakob Poeltl: What is the trade?

The San Antonio Spurs seem to like Jakob Poeltl quite a lot, and trading him for nothing doesn’t seem in the cards. At the same time, he plays the league’s most replaceable position and will be an unrestricted free agent come July. That makes for a murky trade market. Here’s one idea for the Clippers that keeps things simple.

The Clippers upgrade on Ivica Zubac with one of the league’s half-dozen best rim protectors and send along a developmental scoring wing and a second-round pick as sweeteners. There are absolutely different ways for this trade to be built, including using a first to send more salary to the Spurs. Let’s see if this version works for both teams.

Clippers trade for Poeltl: Would the Spurs do it?

The Spurs are probably hoping to get at least one first-round pick back for Poeltl, and perhaps there is a team out there that will supply it. They also may just keep Poeltl to lock down the center position. This is a third option, one where they get a cost-controlled replacement for Poeltl and a couple of smaller assets.

Zubac is having a middling season for a middling team, but (1) he makes just over $22 million combined for the next two seasons, and (2) is two years younger than Poeltl. He allows the Spurs to put a reliable rim protector and rebounder who fits their scheme on the back line while saving money and extending their timeline. If they end up drafting Victor Wembanyama or another elite center in the next couple of drafts, they can easily move on from him.

This seems like a totally fine option for the Spurs, and if it’s the best offer on the market perhaps they say yes and send Poeltl to LA.