3 trades for Cavaliers to send Jarrett Allen to Charlotte

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
Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images /

Trade No. 2: Frontcourt Overhaul

The problem that the Cavaliers are dealing with in their frontcourt is that they have two players best suited to play center in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and then no true small forwards to play beside them. They have generally elected to go smaller at the 3, deploying the likes of Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert, and this summer signed 6’5″ Max Strus to fill the role.

If the Cavaliers are looking to diversify the return for Allen, they could go for an actual forward-sized player to step in at the 3 as well as slotting P.J. Washington in at the 4. Here’s that deal:

Miles Bridges is a controversial player in the league, and it’s possible that the Cavs want nothing to do with him given the charges he has been accused of. That’s very fair. If they are open to the idea, Bridges would be the best small forward on the team since LeBron James left.

He is playing this season on the qualifying offer, which means he is both a bargain now and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer; he also can’t be moved until September 30th, so this would be a deal to execute as Training Camp opens. Bridges can veto any trade, so this would need to be worked out with him, but going to Cleveland would get him out of Charlotte and let him showcase himself on a winning team.

If he plays extremely well, he will leave in free agency next summer, as the Cavs will have only Non-BIrd RIghts or the Mid-Level Exception to re-sign him. If he plays just mildly well, they could convince him to come back on a 1+1 at the Non-BIrd level (120 percent of his current salary) and then build him up to a big payday when they acquire his full Bird Rights.

Bridges and Washington seem like an excellent pairing alongside Evan Mobley in the frontcourt, a pair of players who are plus defenders and good shooters and scorers. Charlotte gets to wash its hands of the Miles Bridges situation, and in return gets to significantly revamp its defense with Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro.

This deal has its risks, but there is also a very real upside for the Cavs to have their best starting five in years.