In the summer of 2021, the Cleveland Cavaliers took advantage of a standoff between Lauri Markkanen and the Chicago Bulls. The 7-foot stretch-big was a restricted free agent, which froze out his suitors around the league, but he also wasn’t getting a contract he was comfortable accepting from the Bulls. Neither side seemed willing to budge.
That’s where the Cavaliers swept in, working out a three-team sign-and-trade that sent Larry Nance Jr. to the Portland Trail Blazers and brought Markkanen in to form a supersized frontcourt. The contract for Markkanen turned out to be good value after a strong season with the Cavs, and it’s now one of the best in the league after breaking out further in Utah.
There is another standoff in the league this summer, with the Charlotte Hornets and forward P.J. Washington unable to agree to terms on a new deal. Could the Cavs swoop in again and add a plus rotation piece at a discount? It’s certainly a possibility, and Cleveland will hope it could pull it off without giving up one of its core players.
Could the Cavaliers trade Jarrett Allen to the Hornets?
What if it did take a core player? The Cavs have been rumored to be discussing Jarrett Allen at times this offseason, and now are rumored to be interested in Washington. They wouldn’t give up their All-Star center for Washington alone, but could he be at the center of a deal to add multiple Charlotte players?
Let’s look at three different deals, based around this Allen-for-Washington framework, that could help diversify the Cavs for next season. Are any of them worth making for the Cavaliers?