Does an Allen trade make the Cavaliers any better, though? Allen’s value expands beyond what Bailey discusses. While Allen has played heavy minutes for the Cavs over the past few years as an interior defensive anchor, he has also given Cleveland another reliable center when Mobley is resting or hurt. Trading Allen would likely bring a stretch four in return, putting Mobley at the five with no trustworthy replacement in the second unit.
Last season, the Cavaliers signed Robin Lopez as the backup center, a player who eventually became unplayable. This year, Cleveland acquired both Damian Jones and Tristan Thompson, but neither player can be trusted with a heavy workload every night. Unless the Cavaliers can find a deal for Allen that brings a starting caliber power forward to Cleveland along with a steady backup center, that trade could only serve to create a multitude of new problems.
Certainly, though, Jarrett Allen trades do exist that could improve the Cavaliers. Both the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly expressed interest in Allen over the summer, and both teams have players that could interest Cleveland’s front office. The Mavericks drafted Dereck Lively III in the first round this year, but they may still have Allen in mind to place a proven center next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
An Allen trade is not out of the realm of possibility, and his $20 million salary gives Cleveland flexibility in negotiations. For Donovan Mitchell, though, it gets complicated.