The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired such a promising young big in Jarrett Allen as participants in the James Harden-centric trade.
What James Harden reportedly wants; James Harden gets. The three-time NBA scoring champion is now on the Brooklyn Nets, solidifying a potential three headed monster at the top of the Eastern Conference with him, involving Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant after a blockbuster four-team trade that went down on Wednesday.
If the Nets can make this work, they will without a doubt be one of, if not, the team to beat. Now, for The Beard to call Brooklyn his new home, the Nets and Houston Rockets had to include two additional teams in a four-way trade, again, which also involved the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers.
Anyway, from the Cavaliers’ perspective, they essentially acquired Jarrett Allen, most notably, to go with Taurean Prince, from the Nets in the deal. That was in exchange for sending out Dante Exum and their 2022 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks (unprotected) to the Houston Rockets and their 2024 second-round pick (lesser of theirs/the Utah Jazz).
In order for the Cavaliers to bring on Allen and Prince, they had to waive Yogi Ferrell and Thon Maker. There were few a minor details involved from Cleveland’s perspective with the deal, anyhow, but in terms of all of the reported information regarding the trade, you can view that here and also here.
As Cleveland continues to rebuild, the team’s identity is becoming more evident. With Jarrett Allen the team gains another defensively-minded player to incorporate into a young core featuring Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro, Kevin Porter Jr., and others such as Dylan Windler and Larry Nance Jr.
Nance isn’t the youngest at 28 but figures to be a piece that could be around for a while.
James Harden wanting to be dealt out of Houston may have created the biggest super team in the league with the Nets, but the Cavaliers were inadvertently winners in this trade as well by acquiring their center for the future in Allen.
At 22 years old, Jarrett Allen fits the timeline so well for Cleveland, and although Cleveland has two other 5’s currently in Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee, Allen is their long-term plan there.
And regarding the Cavs have “already received calls” about McGee, per a report from Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscription required), and the expiring Drummond would seem to be a player that could very well be moved by the trade deadline. That’s based on comments from an Eastern Conference executive made to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
Albeit his $28.8 million salary for this season, in terms of trade compensation to be moved won’t be simply moved, but Drummond could potentially just sign elsewhere in free agency, if he’s not. Needless to say, Allen looks to be the long-term starting 5 for the Cavs and Cleveland in the offseason could look to sign a backup 5 via team-friendly deal, one would think.
Anyway, based on Fedor’s report, it’s clear that Cleveland will look to lock up Allen long-term, who is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, regardless.
Considering that outlook for the Cavs, we’ll examine Allen’s strengths and weaknesses here.
We’ll begin with the strengths.