In hopes of gaining draft picks for Spurs assists like Jakob Poeltl, Josh Ricardson, and Doug McDermott the Spurs would be looking for younger players to step up. Unfortunately, for the Spurs’ front office and draft pick-hungry fans the pre-season has revealed that Poeltl may be indispensable. There are two other Centers on the roster Gorgui Dieng and Zach Collins both of which were in danger of being cut after their pre-season performances.
Josh Primo 👉 Jakob Poeltl pic.twitter.com/O9bisTilON— Spurs Nation (@SpursNationCP) October 14, 2022
As a veteran on the squad, Jakob Poeltl looked great on the court. In the 111-104 pre-season victory against the Utah Jazz, he recorded five rebounds, five, assists, a block, and six points. When the seven-year veteran was on the court the game was fast-paced and the team seemed to function better. Sadly the same could not be said for the other centers in the Spurs rotation.
Can Gorgui Dieng Keep Up?
Gorgui Dieng’s best pre-season performance came in the 111-97 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. He was just shy of a double-double with ten points and nine rebounds. All of the rebounds were defensive rebounds. While no one wants to complain about nine rebounds, the offense was a lot slower with Dieng on the court. Sometimes the Spurs missed out on offensive rebounds because the shot was taken before Dieng could get in position for the rebound.
Dieng seems to have the respect of his teammates and has been featured on the younger players’ social media accounts. When Malaki Branham had the honor of buying the team dinner, Dieng was the one to announce the “Winner.” After a waiter pulled his credit card out of a hat, Dieng gave Branham his card while giving him a hard time. So if he were to find himself in the starting line-up after a potential Poeltl departure he would fit right in with the team chemistry-wise, but he would also slow the NBA’s youngest team down dramatically on the court.
Will Zach Collins Stay Healthy?
Collins has weathered a storm of injuries early in his career and this season was his first time entering the Spurs training camp healthy. His best pre-season performance was in the 102-99 loss to the Orlando Magic. Recording nine points and five rebounds coming off the bench, Collins showed some promise. While he seemed to be a step slower than most of his teammates he was able to keep pace with the team on both sides of the court and played aggressively.
Hopefully, the injuries are in the past and he has a good NBA career in front of him. Regrettably, with his history of injuries, it’s hard to have faith in Collins as a starter. If the Spurs were to part ways with Poeltl and Collins took his place there is another issue fans saw during the pre-season. He beats himself up too much on the court. Throughout the pre-season, when Collins made a mistake you could see it affected his confidence and his game would deteriorate as more mistakes lead him to become frustrated. Hopefully, Collins can overcome this. Fans will be keeping an eye on that early in the season.
Jakob Poeltl Too Good To Trade?
Jakob Poeltl is a great player on the Spurs and is loved by his teammates. They spend a lot of time together both on and off the court. It will truly be a sad day in San Antonio when the Spurs and Poeltl part ways. With this depth chart, it could be better to hold on to a proven talent at the Center position. Trading for picks is enticing but in this case, it may do more harm than good. With the clock ticking to the NBA trade deadline, Dieng and Collins have to prove they can step up. If not, it puts the Spurs’ front office in a tough position. It will be interesting to see how they handle the situation.
Should the spurs consider trading Jakob Poeltl?