Moving on from Jarrett Allen isn’t a move the Cavaliers should be, err, cavalier about. He is a very real and very important part of the defensive identity that they have built over the past few seasons. He may have been overvalued in getting an All-Star berth, but he seems to be undervalued now and partially lost in the excitement over Evan Mobley’s growth.
With that being said, a trade that turns Allen into a floor-spacing forward who can also help Mobley in defending centers seems like an ideal scenario for moving Allen. Grant Williams is a career 37.9 percent 3-point shooter and hit at least 39.5 percent in each of the past two seasons. He has some ball skills but will be comfortably deployed as a spot-up shooter to give space to the rest of the offense.
Defensively, Williams is the type of player who can be deployed on both centers and big wings. When defending the Miami Heat, for example, he can take on Jimmy Butler while Mobley defends Bam Adebayo. Against the Bucks he has the strength to keep Brook Lopez out of the paint while Mobley marks Antetokounmpo. He is comfortable taking the primary assignment on Joel Embiid or Anthony Davis.
It’s the best of both worlds for the Cavs from a schematic standpoint. They’ll lose rim protection with the move and this doesn’t solve their rebounding woes, but it checks a lot of boxes. Is it worth taking on the rest of Holmes’ contract and taking a step down in overall talent? That’s a fair question, but it’s possible this move unlocks the two-way versatility the Cavaliers have been searching for. Williams is also just starting a four-year, $53 million deal that is an absolute bargain for what he brings to contending teams.
This isn’t a perfect deal, but it would almost certainly make the Cavaliers better equipped for the playoffs.