The Toronto Raptors selected Utah centre Jakob Poeltl ninth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft Thursday night.
Poeltl, a native of Austria, is a mammoth at 7-1 and 240lbs. He was ranked by many as the top-ranked centre in the draft. Peoltl thrives off high energy, one of the few seven-footer who can run the floor with confidence. He had a fantastic year at Utah last season, being named to the All-American 2nd team.
Poeltl fits a position of need for the Raptors, who will be looking for a replacement for backup centre after the likely departure of Bismack Biyombo in free agency this summer. Poeltl’s back-to-the-basket game is a bit of a relic in today’s NBA, but his work ethic on the low block gets him a ton of buckets.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Raptors were active on the trade market, as the team attempted to trade its number 9 pick for Oklahoma’s Serge Ibaka. The deal, however, was shot down by OKC.
The Raptors aren’t done. Masai Ujiri still has the 27th overall pick coming up, and as we’ve seen so far today, the trade market is open for business this evening.