Usually, when a team is coming off a season where they won 51 games, ended their five-year playoff drought, and clinched a top four seed in their conference, there are not a lot of questions. Unfortunately, that cannot be said about the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After a highly successful regular season that had this team on cloud nine, the playoffs offered a rude awakening and the Cavs fell flat on their face. Asking this team to get a rebound against the New York Knicks was like asking Ant Man to beat Kang the Conqueror in a fight. The Cavaliers’ flaws were exposed and as they head into the offseason, they have more questions than answers.
Last offseason it was all about taking the next step: going to the playoffs. This offseason it is all about becoming a perennial championship contender. What will the Cavs do to make that step? Here are my three burning questions that I have for the Cavaliers this offseason, starting with the status of a beloved big man.
Burning Question No. 1: Is there a chance Jarrett Allen is traded?
Jarrett Allen is one of the main reasons the Cavs have been able to turn their misfortune into success. Ever since being acquired in the 2021 James Harden trade, Allen has been a huge part of the Cavs’ defensive transformation and a consistent presence on the offensive side, especially around the rim. In addition to his contributions on the court, Allen has been a stable locker room presence and brings good vibes to the Cavs.
Unfortunately, there was nothing good about his performance against the New York Knicks. Allen was solid in the first two games, averaging 11.5 points per game and 12 rebounds per game. After that, it was like the Monstars took all of his basketball ability because Allen grabbed 13 total rebounds in the remaining three games. He was almost unplayable, but the Cavs had no choice because there were no better options on the bench. It’s not like J.B. Bickerstaff was going to call on Robin Lopez, who has done nothing but warm the bench and fight mascots all season.
On offense, Allen was a complete no-show. He was dropping the ball, wasn’t finishing strong at the rim, and his lack of perimeter game caused the Knicks to clog the paint. Allen’s play has led to trade suggestions starting to emerge, and while trading him would be a slight overreaction, what if an elite wing player like Jerami Grant, or OG Anunoby became available?
Allen would easily be the Cavaliers’ most attractive trade asset and could bring on a sizable return. If the right deal is out there, does Koby Altman pull the trigger?