Projecting the Cavs’ top 4 defenders in the 2022-23 season

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers big Jarrett Allen greets teammates before a game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Projecting the Cavs’ 4 best defenders in 2022-23 – #2: Jarrett Allen

It’s been over a year now since the multi-team blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets took place. While that trade did not end up working out in Brooklyn’s favor, Cleveland was able to benefit immensely from it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the Cleveland Cavaliers were the true winners of the massive James Harden trade.

Bringing in Jarrett Allen to this Cavs squad gave the team their center of the future, and provided one half of one of the most formidable frontcourts in the league. Signing Allen to a 5-year contract was one of the best moves this Cavs’ front office has made.

Last year, Jarrett managed to average 7.3 defensive rebounds per game, along with an average of 1.3 blocks. Prior to that, in his first NBA season playing with the Cavs the big man had averaged 6.8 defensive rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Allen led the team overall in total rebounds with 10.8 per game. Allen managed to put up a consistent double-double average last season, with his 10.8 rebounds and 16.1 points per game, both of which were career-bests.

Jarrett Allen’s absence due to injury in the post-All Star stretch of games was very detrimental to the teams’ success last year, though.

As the 1st overall defender, and 2nd overall scorer on the team, the Fro has been a pivotal piece of this team’s upward trajectory. As pointed out in a recent tweet by, Allen managed to hold his opponents to the lowest field goal percentage within 6 feet of the basket last season at 48.6%.

Jarrett ranked number 1 in this stat over players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Rudy Gobert, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. To say Allen is a major contributor to the Cavs’ defense would be an understatement. Allen is one of the most instrumental pieces to this teams’ defense, and just overall success in general.

Off the court Allen is humble as they come, and I believe it would work in his favor to lean into this mindset more. Allen will only continue to improve, and the work will speak for itself. I’m predicting big things for the big man in the future. I believe he will be back in the All-Star game again, this time as a starter, potentially, and I would not be surprised if we saw a possible Defensive Player of the Year accolade with his name next to it.

Is it a bit overzealous to put these expectations out there? I truly don’t think so, the writing is on the wall for Jarrett Allen to be one of the best defensive players for the Cavs, and in the league overall this upcoming season.

Now, while Allen managed to claim the title of the best defender for the Cavs last year, I believe there is one player who will take the leap and surpass the Fro as Cleveland’s best defender for the 2022-23 season.