6 players Cavaliers might replace Jarrett Allen with by the trade deadline

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images /

No. 3: Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs made a move that the Cleveland Cavaliers are all too familiar with, drafting an elite talent who is a good enough rim protector to play center but is too slim to start his career there. Now that Mobley may be ready to become a full-time center, perhaps the Spurs could take Jarrett Allen to fill that role alongside Victor Wembanyama.

If they are interested, Keldon Johnson seems like an obvious choice to be sent back to the Cavaliers. He has some holes in his game but he’s also a much better scoring threat than any forwards on the Cavs right now, and his defense isn’t terrible whether he is put at the 3 or 4. He would allow the Cavs to stay young while still continuing to compete right now.

No. 2: Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans

A true upside swing would be to trade Jarrett Allen for a prospect who has not yet made “the leap” and hope it makes them a better team long-term even if they take a small step back in the present. That’s what trading for a player like Trey Murphy III would accomplish, except that he might be good enough already to not cause that step back.

Murphy is a good defender, but where he truly shines is as a shooter from anywhere on the court. He is a 40 percent 3-point shooter for his career (an elite 90 percent from the free-throw line) and can pull up or catch-and-shoot off of movement. He would add an entirely new element to the Cavaliers, combining the movement shooting of Max Strus with the wing defense of Dean Wade, except a better version of both.

If the Pelicans decide they have to move on from Jonas Valanciunas as the center behind Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, they could look to move one of their many forwards for a player like Jarrett Allen. The Pelicans are better equipped to win immediately, and the Cavs land their long-term starting 3.