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Report: Former Ute Jakob Poeltl agrees to long-term deal to return to San Antonio Spurs

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) and Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) box out San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the Jazz versus Spurs NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.
Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) and Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) box out San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the Jazz versus Spurs NBA game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Jakob Poeltl is staying in San Antonio.

The former Utah Utes star agreed to a 3-year, nearly $27 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs, keeping him in the Lone Star State, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Poeltl was selected by the Toronto Raptors as the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft and played in Toronto for two years before being traded to the Spurs in 2018. Since arriving in San Antonio, Poeltl has been a key part of the Spurs’ bench, anchoring San Antonio’s defense.

“He’s a worker, a runner, a rebounder. He’s a good utility infielder, does a little bit of everything and does it with aggressiveness. He’s just going to get better and better,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.

Last season, Poeltl played 66 games, averaging 5.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks in 17.7 minutes per game.

In his two years at Utah, the 7-foot-1 center helped lead the Utes to two NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2015. In his sophomore years, Poeltl averaged 17.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, winning Pac-12 Player of the Year and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the best center in college basketball.