Grade the Trade: Cavaliers add do-it-all youngster in new proposal

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen
Cleveland Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Would the Cavaliers accept this trade?

The Cleveland Cavaliers love Jarrett Allen, as do their fans. He grew from part-time player to All-Star center with the Cavs and is a key part of their culture. He also is a limited offensive player, position-locked into center and prevents the Cavs’ best defensive player from playing center. They built a successful team last year, but also felt the spacing pains of Allen and Evan Mobley in the playoffs.

In any Jarrett Allen trade, the Cavaliers would ideally increase their defensive versatility and lineup flexibility, adding a player who helps with defense, spacing and can play multiple positions. Those players tend to be very expensive when they are established and proven in the league, but perhaps the Cavaliers could find one before he breaks out.

Tari Eason was the 17th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and he quietly had an excellent rookie season for the Rockets despite playing just 21.5 minutes per game. He appeared in all 82 contests and played hard for every second he was on the court, flying around making defensive impact plays or crashing the glass for a rebound. He is a high-energy forward who can defend multiple positions and fit into nearly any lineup.

The Rockets added Dillon Brooks in free agency and drafted Cam Whitmore. When you add in last summer’s selection at No. 3 overall in Jabari Smith Jr., there isn’t much space for Eason in Houston. It’s not out of the question that they could be convinced to move him.

Long-term, Eason would be an amazing fit starting next to Evan Mobley. Together they could defend all over the court, and either could handle in transition to kick off the break. Eason can pass, he is a magnet for steals, and he is a fast-break fiend on both ends of the court. The Cavaliers would love to bring him aboard.

This deal would also net the Cavs a backup center to stretch the court behind Mobley; Cavs fans would need to bury the hatchet with Olynyk, who was involved in Kevin Love’s shoulder injury in the playoffs years ago, but he would otherwise be a good stylistic fit in the frontcourt. The future first-round pick gives them ammunition to make other upgrades on the wing.

This trade would check all of the major boxes for the Cavaliers and add a young forward to pair with Mobley long-term. That’s an exciting return if they do decide to move on from Allen.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers depth chart after free agency signings. dark

Grade: A-