Cavs’ Jarrett Allen looks to be among best two-way 5s from here

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Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

This now-past season was a career year for Cleveland Cavaliers 5 man Jarrett Allen. Allen had career-highs in points and rebounds per game with 16.1 and 10.8, respectively, and he backed up the team signing him to a five-year, $100 million deal last offseason.

The Cavaliers seemed to get their share of flack last offseason when they did that deal involving Allen, with the draft selection of Evan Mobley third overall, and with other bigs involved. The Cavaliers would later swing a sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen, too, as an aside.

I did get where the criticism came from, with Allen still needing to show more offensively in years to come, and the investment in other bigs. But Allen appeared to be one of the Cavaliers’ best players, and the team locking him up looked to be a wise call, either way.

To that point, Allen would again respond with a career season in his fifth year in the league, and first full season with Cleveland. Allen was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a piece involved in the 2020-21 James Harden trade which landed him in Brooklyn, who later traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers near the 2021-22 deadline, for what it’s worth.

In Allen’s case, he made his first All-Star Game earlier this year, and repped the host of this latest All-Star Game, in the Cavaliers. Allen and Cavs teammate Darius Garland both represented Cleveland on Team LeBron, which was really cool to see.

Now, unfortunately, the Cavs didn’t close out the regular season how they would’ve hoped for, and went just 9-15 post-All-Star break. Cleveland would eventually lose in both of their play-in game opportunities to the Nets and then the Atlanta Hawks, and missed the postseason.

Although, at least to me, injuries were part of the reason for that late-season stumble. To that point, Allen missing most of post-All-Star play (fractured finger) was detrimental to the team’s chances, not to mention Caris LeVert missing a chunk of time (foot sprain). And Dean Wade’s partial meniscus tear ending his season early didn’t help defensively.

It wasn’t all on injuries, in fairness. But generally, this now-past season was a success for the Cavaliers, who had quite a significant turnaround, despite some awful injury luck throughout the year, in relation to Collin Sexton, among others.

It was again a year where they did look to turn a corner, on the plus side, and from my perspective, on the subject of Allen, he appears to be one of the NBA’s best two-way 5s moving forward.

Allen looks to be one of the game’s best two-way 5s from here.

Allen is not in the elite group of centers, in general, that’s of the mold of Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, or one could argue, when he’s right, Bam Adebayo. Adebayo didn’t have the greatest postseason; in my opinion, he’s still one of the game’s best 5s, though.

When it comes to balanced 5 men, however, I personally believe Allen from here, could be among the best two-way players at the position.

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