The New Orleans Pelicans could trade for Jarrett Allen
A healthy Zion Williamson changes the ceiling for the New Orleans Pelicans, and they made it to the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament based on a potent offensive attack featuring Zion, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. Defensively, they have a plethora of perimeter weapons, from Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado to Trey Murphy III and Dyson Daniels. What they don't have is rim protection.
The Pelicans have been linked to Jarrett Allen before, and he could be the difference-maker defensively for a Pelicans team that ranks just 15th in defensive rating despite their elite perimeter defenders. Jonas Valanciunas is a beast on the glass but otherwise isn't scaring teams defensively. Allen could step in and provide the paint protector this team has lacked, and the resulting defensive floor would set the Pelicans up to be contenders as their offensive stars step up.
The Charlotte Hornets could trade for Jarrett Allen
The Charlotte Hornets drafted center Mark Williams in the middle of the first round two years ago, and he is having a solid sophomore season, averaging about 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. The problem is that despite his size he doesn't seem to be making much of an impact defensively, and the Hornets accordingly have the worst defense in the league.
Allen is an obvious choice for them to upgrade their defense, especially if they view next year as their time to move back up the standings and compete for a playoff berth. LaMelo Ball is a special offensive player who will need rim protection behind him given his lack of pressure on the perimeter when he is defending.
The Hornets hit the sweet spot of a team that has shooting at all four positions around their center, are young enough to value Allen's relative youth, but aren't in the midst of a rebuild so will be open to providing real assets in a deal for a rim protector of Allen's caliber. That could mean trading a player like P.J. Washington back to the Cavaliers, or it could mean some draft capital down the line.
The list of suitors for Jarrett Allen is not exceptionally long; teams like the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets finding their centers of the future further decreases the list of suitors. But they are out there, and the Cavs may need to reach out sometime soon.