The San Antonio Spurs are on a rebuilding mission. After losing to the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2022 play-in tournament, the Spurs traded their marquee player, Dejounte Murray, to the Atlanta Hawks. However, the Spurs aren't done yet. According to SpursTalk's LJ Ellis, versatile big man Jakob Poeltl could be on the move.
"Sources say Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson are the two Spurs players most commonly involved in trade talk," Ellis said. "While the Spurs have dropped their asking price for the utilization of their salary cap space, their asking price for Poeltl and Richardson remains high.
"For Richardson, the Spurs are requesting a first round pick. For Poeltl, the Spurs are asking for two first rounders."
The Spurs are willing to hold on to Poeltl until the trade deadline to get the best deal. As one team source told Ellis:
"There’s no rush. It has to be the right deal."
Poeltl has spent four of his six seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He has played 280 games for the franchise, starting 160 of them. He has averaged 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game with the Spurs. Last season was Poeltl's best with the team. He nearly averaged a double-double, 13.5 PPG and 9.3 RPG, in 68 games.
San Antonio Spurs haven't made it to the NBA Playoffs in the last three postseasons
The San Antonio Spurs have been among the NBA's most dominant franchises over the last 25 years. After drafting Tim Duncan with the first overall pick in 1997, the Spurs won five NBA championships between 1999 and 2014. Duncan, David Robinson, Avery Johnson, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were integral to the success of the title-winning Spurs teams.
However, the Spurs have endured a playoff drought since their first-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the 2019 playoffs. Since then, the Spurs have had to bear the ignominy of three seasons below .500. The franchise had not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons before 2021. The franchise has only missed the postseason seven times since joining the NBA in the 1976-77 season.
With long-time coach Gregg Popovich still in charge, there is optimism among the San Antonio Spurs' faithful. Popovich is heading into his 27th season as a coach at age 73. The team lacks a franchise player. The hopes of a revival season may be further down the road than fans would like.