The Houston Rockets enter the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft without a top draft pick by virtue of making the post season. Unfettered the Rockets still hope to nab a star prospect with the potential to effect immediate results. Over the next month SCS will look at the draft prospects with a view to team fit and what moves would need to occur to get that pick. Is Jakob Poeltl a prospect worth trading for?
- Height: 7’1″
- Weight: 239
- Country: Austria, Vienna
- Position: Center
- Age: 20
- Reach: 8’10”
- Wingspan: 7’3″
- College or Pro League: Utah, Sophomore
- Stat line: 70 Games, 13.3 Points Per Game, 8.0 Rebounds Per Game, 1.3 Assists Per Game
- Stat line this season: 36 Games, 17.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.9 APG
ESPN Chad Ford: 9th
Draft Express: 10th
NBA Scott Howard Cooper: 8th
Bleacher Report: 7th
Ford lists Jakob Poeltl‘s defense, rebounding and size as his key assets.
Mark my words following the success of rim protectors and big men this post season the big man from Austria will find his stock rising come the draft.
He has good mobility, an ever increasing offensive tool box and something all clubs like the determination to put the work in to become better. And like they always say you can’t teach height so being over 7 feet works to make him a valuable commodity.
In terms of weakness like most young bigs he’ll need to hit the gym to add strength as well as improve his toughness in the paint. That said, he doesn’t shy away from contact which bodes well for him once he adds strength.
Honors and Awards:
As per Wikipedia:
- Consensus second-team All-American (2016)
- Pete Newell Big Man Award (2016)
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (2016)
- Pac-12 Player of the Year (2016)
- First-team All-Pac-12 (2016)
With Dwight Howard’s expected opt out and anticipated exit from Houston this young center could be a perfect replacement for the big man. Obviously Capela will step in to take over Howard’s role, but Poeltl feels like the right type of player to try to trade for especially since he could take a similar route between the D-League and varsity team.
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As arguably the top center in the draft I think Poeltl will be a much sought after draft pick. Houston is chock full of roster pieces at the power forward position all of whom require decisions (Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones and Josh Smith) and all who can play center in a pinch (especially in small ball). But, the center position will require tweaking this off season.
For my money this is the type of player Houston should entertain making a trade to nab with his size, defensive talent and high ceiling. Morey could pick up a veteran back-up (read: someone like Dallas did with Pachulia) to allow Poeltl to spend time in the D-League and with the main club.
Will Morey take that chance though to trade an asset for the future or want immediate help? That seems to be the continuing narrative of this off season.
Be sure to check out our continuing Draft Prospect Series and our Year End Player Reviews!
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