Pöltl with the Toronto Raptors in 2018
|No. 25 – San Antonio Spurs|
|Born||October 15, 1995|
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
|2018–present||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Jakob Pöltl (sometimes spelled Jakob Poeltl; German pronunciation: ['ja:kop 'pœltl]; born October 15, 1995) is an Austrian professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Utah Utes. In his sophomore year, Pöltl was a consensus second-team All-American, and won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and Pete Newell Big Man Award as the top collegiate center and low-post player, respectively. After the season, he declared for the 2016 NBA draft, where the Toronto Raptors selected him in the first round with the ninth overall pick.
Pöltl was born in Vienna, Austria. Both his parents were members of the Austrian national volleyball teams. His parents opted for basketball because there was a youth basketball program near their Vienna home during his childhood. He played one year for the Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions of the Austrian Bundesliga in 2013–14.
Pöltl was relatively unknown in the United States until the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. University of Utah assistant Andy Hill went to the tournament, held in Macedonia (now North Macedonia), largely to scout potential prospects from other teams; he only saw Austria's opening game against the Netherlands because he vowed to watch all 38 teams in person. After seeing Pöltl's 15-rebound performance, Hill began sounding Pöltl out for potential interest in playing college basketball in the United States. Pöltl went on to average a double-double in points and rebounds during the tournament and was named to the second all-tournament team, despite Austria going 1–6 and finishing 20th out of 22 teams in the second-level Division B.
Pöltl began drawing interest from several NCAA Division I programs, forcing him to decide between a professional career and a U.S. college education. In a 2014 interview, Pöltl revealed part of his decision-making process:
If I went pro in Europe, I probably wouldn't have a chance to go to a university and get my degree. . . . I could have basketball and an education at the same time [in the U.S.]. Also I think I wasn't ready for 100 percent professional basketball at that time.
In 2014, Pöltl committed to Utah to play college basketball, in large part due to the relationship he had developed with their coaching staff. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak was one of three Division I head coaches and two assistant coaches to travel to Vienna to recruit him in person, and made the trip of over 5,000 miles (8,000 km) twice. Pöltl was impressed that Krystkowiak made the effort to visit him in person, and was intrigued that the 6-foot-10-inch (2.08 m) coach played power forward in the NBA and had a history of developing young big men.
Pöltl became a starter in his first year, and in his first game he scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds. During his second season in 2015–16, he was named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy on 11 February. On 7 March 2016, Pöltl was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team. He was subsequently named the winner of both the Pete Newell Big Man Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.
Toronto Raptors (2016–2018)
On 23 June 2016, Pöltl was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, becoming the first Austrian to be drafted to the NBA. On 9 July 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Raptors. He made his debut for the Raptors in their season opener on 26 October 2016, becoming the first Austrian to play in the NBA. He finished with two points in 12:47 of court time in a 109–91 win over the Detroit Pistons. During his rookie season, Pöltl received multiple assignments to Raptors 905, Toronto's D-League affiliate.
On 21 October 2017, Pöltl scored a then career-high 14 points in a 128–94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On 1 December 2017, he made all eight of his field goal attempts and had a career-high 18 points in a 120–115 win over the Indiana Pacers. Pöltl ended the 2017–18 regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. He was also the only Raptors player to appear in all 82 regular-season contests.
San Antonio Spurs (2018–present)
On 18 July 2018, Pöltl was traded, along with DeMar DeRozan and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick, to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. In his debut for the Spurs in their season opener on 17 October 2018, Pöltl recorded four points, four rebounds and two assists in eight minutes in a 112–108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He made just his fifth career start and first since 14 February 2017, with Toronto. On 4 December, he scored a career-high 20 points in a 139–105 loss to the Utah Jazz.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Myerberg, Paul (March 21, 2015). "Jakob Poeltl's path to Utah is paved with promise". USAToday.com. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
- Eisenberg, Jeff (December 8, 2014). "How Utah landed fast-rising NBA prospect Jakob Poeltl". Yahoo.com. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
- "Jakob Pöltl stats". BasketballLiga.at. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- Goon, Kyle (March 10, 2015). "Utah basketball: Jakob Poeltl comes out of his (Austrian) shell". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- "UTAH MEN'S BASKETBALL ADDS JAKOB POELTL". UtahUtes.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- Sorensen, Mike (March 11, 2016). "The puzzle of Poeltl — will he stay or will he go?". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Payne, Terrence (February 11, 2016). "Naismith Trophy midseason list announced". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Utah center Jakob Poeltl declares for NBA draft". ESPN.com. April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Goon, Kyle (April 13, 2016). "Utah basketball: Jakob Poeltl will enter 2016 NBA draft". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Ewing, Lori (June 23, 2016). "NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors draft Jakob Poeltl 9th". CBC.ca. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
- "Raptors Sign First Round Picks Poeltl & Siakam". NBA.com. July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- "DeRozan's 40 leads Raptors to 109-91 win over Pistons". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "2016-17 NBA Assignments". NBA.com. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- "DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors rout 76ers 128-94". ESPN.com. October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- "DeMar DeRozan scores 26 points, Raptors top Pacers 120-115". ESPN.com. December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- "Ellington sets Heat record, Miami tops Toronto 116-109". ESPN.com. April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- "SPURS OBTAIN DEMAR DEROZAN, JAKOB POELTL AND FIRST ROUND PICK FROM RAPTORS IN EXCHANGE FOR KAWHI LEONARD AND DANNY GREEN". NBA.com. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- "Timberwolves vs. Spurs – Box Score". ESPN.com. October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- "DeRozan leads Spurs past Wolves 112-108; Butler scores 23". ESPN.com. October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- "Mitchell nets 20, Gobert adds 18 as Jazz beat Spurs 139-105". ESPN.com. December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
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