Proposed Blockbuster Trade Lands Nets Coveted $26 Million Starting Center

Jakob Poetl

Getty Jakob Poetl tries to recover a loose ball.

The Brooklyn Nets enter the 2022-23 season loaded with talent. And with their revamped roster, Brooklyn nearly has all the bases covered. Despite an offseason filled with uncertainty surrounding their futures, the Nets are returning with their All-Star duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and adding another All-Star in Ben Simmons, who they acquired at February’s trade deadline. They also have a multitude of scorers in Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Royce O’Neale.

The one question mark surrounding the Nets roster would be their starting center, Nicolas Claxton. The seven-footer was a restricted free agent during the offseason, but the Nets brought him back on a 2-year deal.

Claxton has shown to have the raw talent to be a starting center in the NBA, someday. But with Kyrie Irving set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Nets are looking to capitalize on their championship window right now because nobody knows what the future holds.

In this latest trade proposal from Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Nets swap 7-footers with the San Antonio Spurs as they land coveted $26 million center Jakob Poetl.

Full Terms:

Brooklyn Nets receive: Jakob Poeltl

San Antonio Spurs receive: Nic Claxton (eligible to be traded Jan. 15) and 2028 first-round pick (top-three protected)

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Spurs Amid a Rebuilding Phase

The Spurs will never openly admit it, but there is a changing of the guard currently happening in San Antonio. It started when they bought out LaMarcus Aldridge in 2021, which ironically was the gateway to him signing with the Nets that same season.

The following summer, they lost All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls. And this year, they surprised everyone by trading their All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. And heading into his 26th season of being their head coach, Gregg Popovich’s days as San Antonio’s leader also appear to be numbered.

Many people expect Poetl to be the next big-name Spurs player to be moved. During training camp, Poetl said he isn’t necessarily bothered by the rumors and understands the possibility of being traded is just the nature of the business.

“I am not worried about trade rumors or anything like that,” Poeltl told reporters at training camp per Sports Illustrated. “I’m aware of the fact that things like are going to exist, I’ve dealt with it in the past, I’ve been traded in the past.”

Spurs & Nets Benefit From a Claxton, Poetl Swap

This swap is one of the few NBA trade ideas for the Nets that could benefit both sides. For San Antonio, a team amid a rebuilding phase, a 23-year-old Claxton, who is equally as athletic as he is young, could be the perfect centerpiece to usher in a new generation of Spurs basketball. The young center is a year younger than Tim Duncan was when he won his first title in 1999.  

While the center spot is a glaring weakness for the Nets, they do not need a star equal to someone like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid to fill that position. They only need a center that will be a star in their role and support the team’s best players. Similar to the role that Kevon Looney has played with the Golden State Warriors for several seasons.

As a trade that could potentially benefit both sides, it is one that the Nets, who are looking to compete for a title, should consider visiting.