With the NBA Draft approaching, the former Utah big man Jakob Poeltl will have a new home on June 23rd when his name is called in the 2016 NBA Draft. The question is, where could he land and which team is the best fit for Jakob and his game. Before we dive into teams that could fit Jakob, lets dig into who he is as a basketball player. Jakob isn’t going to come in right away and start in the NBA in his rookie year. He is going to need a couple of years to figure out the game and adjust accordingly. But, of what he does have is a great NBA sized body for the NBA, at 7’0, he is a guy who is not your average big-man in this NBA era. Most guys now like to shoot the long range jumper and face up to the basket. Jakobs’ bread and butter is with his back to the basket and getting creative on the low block. Something else that Poeltl is very good at is defending the rim, his long arms and physical body will help any team in the league defend the rim. Now lets take a look at some teams that Jakob could potentially land with and who is the best fit for him and his game.
Toronto Raptors – On most mock drafts, he has been projected to be taken by the team up north. They own the 9th pick in the draft because they received the pick from the New York Knicks in a previous trade. With the uncertainty of the future for Bismack Biyombo and whether or not he will re-sign with the Raptors remains to be seen. It was pretty much a shoe in before the Playoffs when Bismack had a breakout postseason. Now, he will be a highly sought after free-agent and with DeMar DeRozan becoming a free agent as well and just giving DeMarre Carroll a big contract last season, the Raptors can’t really afford to pay big money for both players. Jakob would be a good back up center to Jonas Valenciunas. An added bonus, Jakob would team up with fellow Ute Delon Wright.
Milwaukee Bucks – After the Bucks snatched F/C Greg Monroe, he didn’t live up to the money. Plus, Monroe is a guy you can slide to the four spot and the greek freak to the three. With John Henson the only legit center on the team that is worth giving significant minutes to, I would say that the Bucks would be a great spot for Jakob to play for and a good head coach in Jason Kidd. The Bucks own the 10th pick in the draft.
Orlando Magic – This probably won’t happen because the Magic have a promising frontcourt in Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. But, what intrigues me is that Jason Smith will become a free agent this summer and I believe Jakob has a better all around game down low than Smith. The only thing that Smith has that Jakob doesn’t is mid-range to long-range shooting. I think Poeltl will have a better career than Smith when it is all said and done. It doesn’t hurt that the Magic just hired Frank Vogel as their head coach. Orlando will have the the 11th pick the draft.
Utah Jazz – This is mainly me being biased. I would love to see Jakob in a Jazz uniform, only because You have gotten everything you could from Jeff Withey, Tibor Pleiss is still a question mark, but with Jakob as a legit center and Derrick Favors, Trey Lyles and Trevor Booker being Power Forwards. I would like to see Jakob back up Rudy Gobert, he would also develop his game really well as that is head coach Quin Snyder’s wheelhouse. I know this probably wouldn’t happen but I could personally see Jakob fitting in the with the Utah Jazz nicely. Utah has the 12th pick.
Darkhorse Pick: Atlanta Hawks – This would only happen if they traded up in the draft to get Jakob. Since the Hawks own the 21st pick, they would have to trade some pieces to get into the top 10 or 11 to snatch the Austrian. With Al Horford becoming a free agent, it will be interesting to see if they can convince him to stay and if he doesn’t, what does the Hawks do. I am not saying that Jakob would start in Atlanta but he could get some minutes with them.