Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 potential breakout candidates in 2021-22

Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen (left) and Cleveland wing Isaac Okoro celebrate after a win. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen (left) and Cleveland wing Isaac Okoro celebrate after a win. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen dunks the ball. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Cavs potential breakout candidate #2 in 2021-22: Jarrett Allen

The Cavaliers were able to pull off a steal trade this season, acquiring Jarrett Allen while only giving up an expiring contract in Dante Exum and the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2022 first-round pick that will likely be in the mid-late 20s. With the Cavs, Allen would have his best season averaging a career-high 13.2 points per game to go along with 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, shooting 60.9 percent from the field.

Allen’s play prior to his concussion was very promising as in the 21 games from Feb. 8 to March 26, he averaged 14.9 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, shooting 60.9 percent from the field.

With Allen, the Cavaliers added a serious lob threat and rim protector that meshes flawlessly with the rest of the team via trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The biggest question for Allen being his offensive improvements and how he can hold up as a starter for an entire season.

After his concussion, Allen’s play took a dip as he would average 12.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and most noteworthy, 0.8 blocks per game, shooting 58.6 percent from the field. It also can be added that both Darius Garland and Matthew Dellavedova missing games had an impact on his offensive play as he relies on those guards to get him easy looks at the rim.

With an extension looming, the question becomes how much are the Cavs willing to throw at Allen. Reports/rumors have previously noted that Allen could receive around $20 million per year, but with other teams set to likely have interest, that number could rise. For further context on potential value, an NBA agent recently stated to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer (subscription required) that he believes Allen could feasibly draw up to $25 million per year, even.

Seeing as Allen continues to improve and seeing as it would help keep the core together, an extension is almost certain to happen, though, and we’ll see on the offers. That was one agent, anyhow.

Albeit speaking more on Allen’s offensive progressions, this now-past season was the most shots that Allen has taken between three and 16 feet with 160, according to Basketball Reference. Looking at it, Allen expanding his game past the restricted area helps to open up the offense more but, it may take a couple more seasons until this is an area that Allen is truly respectable in.

Though the center position may be transitioning towards floor spacers, having that paint presence is still important and Allen provides that. At just 23 years old, Allen hasn’t reached his full potential yet and the Cavaliers should give him the opportunity to do so.

There are high expectations for Allen next season and if that 21-game stretch is just the beginning then watch out for the Fro.