Cavs: 2 reasons why Jarrett Allen can have breakout year in 2021-22

Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen dunks the ball. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen dunks the ball. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

After getting traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers midseason from the Brooklyn Nets as part of the James Harden blockbuster, Jarrett Allen has become a major building block piece in the Cavs rebuild.

Through 51 games played with the Wine and Gold, he did often make a notable impact in games. And although it wasn’t a bargain re-signing via five-year, $100 million deal to remain in Cleveland, Allen looks to be a crucial contributor for the Cavs, and it was meaningful for them to lock him up long term with what he provides on the interior.

The 23-year-old big out of Texas has the potential to keep getting better and maybe have a breakout year in his second season in Cleveland, and here, we’ll examine two key reasons why.

#1: Growth/progression offensively for the Cavs

Allen has only gotten better in each season in his career thus far. During his time with the Nets, he became a defensive anchor on teams that made the playoffs and since then he has made consistent strides throughout his career.

He’s steadily improved his offensive output in his NBA tenure, and last season with Cleveland, had 13.2 points per outing. Of course, he’s a constant lob threat, and we should see that a bunch via deliveries from Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio, but Allen demonstrated nice touch inside and viability as a post-up threat at times.

With better chemistry alongside Garland, Collin Sexton and others, and with him showing flashes as a spot-up player, if he can have that on display more game-to-game next season with open looks, it could free up interior looks for him.

Going into Year 5 with the Cavaliers, he should get his share of opportunities on the offensive end and could continue to get more looks than he did in Brooklyn.

#2: Allen can further cement himself for the Cavs as a difference-maker on defense

Jarrett Allen is considered to be one of the better defensive bigs in the league. His 9.9 rebounds to go along with his 1.4 blocks per game with Cleveland is evidence of that, and with what he has shown thus far in his career, he has the potential to take the Cavaliers defense to another level paired often with Evan Mobley.

Allen’s rim protection and shot altering helps deter driving threats for the Cavs, and with more experience playing with other Cavs this go-round, he could cement himself as a difference-maker defensively for Cleveland.

That’s with his length and feel for staying vertical to prevent interior looks from opponents too, and with how his shot altering can wreck possessions.

And as we alluded to, having Mobley (2.9 blocks per game at USC in 2020-21) on the court can form a formidable defensive duo in the frontcourt for the Cavs. Between those two, it can allow others to be more aggressive with the help they can provide in the paint, and in Mobley’s case, on the perimeter with his agility as well.

Next. Cavs: 3 bold predictions for Mobley in Year 1. dark

Overall though, with him set to be a key, central piece for these young Cavaliers on both ends, and seemingly a player on an upward trajectory, Allen could be set for a breakout year in 2021-22.