Minnesota Timberwolves: Jakob Poeltl is low-budget free agency option

The Minnesota Timberwolves will have enough money to go after some lower-level free agents. Getting a rim-protecting big at a good price might be benefitial to the team.

The Minnesota Timberwolves need more rotational players on their roster. As it stands currently, the only big that would be playable in late-fourth quarter minutes (by most teams standards) is Karl-Anthony Towns. Outside of him, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Josh Okogie are all more-than competent.

That said, there still needs to be much more added to the roster, especially at the center and power forward spots. One of the more interesting free agents available this coming offseason is going to be Spurs big Jakob Poeltl, who was one of the main pieces acquired from the Kawhi Leonard trade back in 2018-19.

Poeltl was a quality depth player for the Spurs this past season, averaging roughly 18 minutes per game in 66 appearances (18 starts). In those minutes, he posted six points, six rebounds, two assists, and 1.4 blocks per game. Poeltl is one of the better defensive-minded bigs in the league currently and would absolutely have a role on the Timberwolves – with or without Towns on the floor.

Poeltl likely will not net more than the mid-level exception, which is worth about $10 million this offseason. He could get even less than that, though, and the Spurs do not seem particularly enamored in keeping him long-term.

A projected contract could look something like the two-year, $10 million contract Enes Kanter signed with the Celtics last offseason. Poeltl does have flaws in his game, though, and those flaws are things that have made Gersson Rosas hesitant in the past.

First, he can’t shoot – like, at all. Poeltl has taken two three-pointers over the course of his NBA career, both coming in his second season with the Raptors. Statistically speaking, his free throw percentage has also dropped since he entered the league – down to about 47-percent with the Spurs last season (not good!).

That said, Poeltl brings enough defensively and is willing enough to have a ‘glue guy’ mentality on offense (due to his passing and, well, lack of shots/usage) for the Timberwolves to take a chance on him with a short-term contract.