Raptors Select Jakob Poeltl & Pascal Siakam At NBA Draft

Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com

The Raptors welcomed another University of Utah player to the team when they selected Jakob Poeltl with the ninth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

The seven-footer became the first Austrian to be selected in the draft, and was the first Utah player selected in the lottery since Andrew Bogut went first overall in 2005.

Poeltl was a college teammate of Delon Wright’s and the two remain close. Wright said he kept in touch with Poeltl throughout the pre-draft process, speaking with him six or seven times, and that he “screamed” when he heard the Raptors had selected him.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said the team was excited when it realized that Poeltl would be available when they were on the clock.

“Luckily, the guy we wanted was there,” Casey said. “I know Jeff [Weltman] and all the guys did a lot of work scouting this young man. They know a lot more about him than I do. I saw him work out in Buffalo and he had an excellent workout down there. His speed and agility around the cones was really impressive.”

Poeltl is coming off a sophomore season with the Utes where he was named to the First Team All-Pac 12 and Second Team All-American by the AP, NABC and USABWA. He also won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top centre. He ranked first in the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation in field goal percentage (64.6 percent), and was one of 11 finalists for the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy for National Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden player of the year awards. Poeltl averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game in 2015-2016.

For more highlights of Poeltl’s college career with Utah, check out this highlight mix presented by NBA.com:

To learn a bit more about Poeltl’s personality, check out this prospect profile also from NBA.com. Check out Poeltl talk about his biggest strength, why Kevin Garnett inspires him and how to pronounce his name:

With the 27th pick, Toronto selected 6-foot-9 forward Pascal Siakam from New Mexico State.

In his sophomore season, Siakam was the unanimous choice for the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, averaging 20.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. He led the nation in double-doubles as a sophomore and was a finalist for both the Lou Henson and Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year awards.

Siakam was the first New Mexico State men’s basketball player drafted in the first round in 46 years.

The 22-year-old is very long, athletic, and is known for being an active rebounder and shot-blocker. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweeted about a recurring comparison for Siakam leading up to the draft:

New Mexico State head coach Paul Weir welcomed his former player to Toronto after he was drafted. Weir made history in April, becoming the third Canadian men’s head coach at the D1 NCAA Level:

To learn more about Siakam, check out this prospect profile from NBA.com where Siakam talks about the importance of education, his basketball motor and energy, and soccer helping his defence: