2 Cavaliers who are expendable, 3 they can't afford to trade

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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No. 1: Jarrett Allen can't be traded

A popular topic of conversation over Cleveland's offseason was whether or not the team should trade Jarrett Allen. On the one hand, he was the anchor of their league-leading defense; on the other, he and Evan Mobley made for an awkward offensive fit with neither shooting much at all from outside of the restricted area.

When Allen missed the first few games of the season rehabbing an ankle injury, it was a chance for Mobley to prove himself as the starting center. The results were mixed-at-best, with Mobley at times unable to wreak havoc because he needed to be in a specific place where Allen normally would be. A lot went into the Cavs' rough start, but Allen's absence was a major part of it; the Cavs went 2-3 with a -26 point differential in the five games he missed, and their defense was a disappointing 19th.

Allen then returned and helped to key a run back above .500, once again locking down the center of the court defensively and showing plenty of pop catching and throwing down alley-oops. This was never more apparent than in Cleveland's demolition of the Denver Nuggets, where Allen finished a historic +42 for the night and completely outplayed the two-time MVP.

The Cavaliers are better on both offense and defense when Allen plays, in part because of his high-level play and in part because they are unable to trust their other center options. Damian Jones has played his way right out of the rotation, while Tristan Thompson brings experience and "thumping" (technical term) but doesn't have much to offer on offense.

Jarrett Allen may need to be traded at some point to unlock this team's ceiling, but that can't happen anyitme soon; they don't have a better option, and they can't yet trust Mobley to be a full-time center. That makes Allen as indispensable as any player on the roster.