Cleveland Cavaliers: 4 potential free agent targets with ties to Jarrett Allen

The Cleveland Cavaliers should target these four former teammates of star big man Jarrett Allen.
Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets - Game One
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After staying silent on the trade market this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to free agency once again as their avenue for roster development.

Last offseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers focused on adding talent that could build around Donovan Mitchell to the roster. Max Strus joined through a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat, and the Cavs also added Georges Niang to the roster. While conversations with Cavaliers legend Kevin Love brought on Strus' addition, Niang came to the Land after playing alongside Mitchell for years on the Utah Jazz. The priority was clear - keep the stars happy with talented veterans with a connection to them.

This summer, the Cavaliers should prioritize the same vision, focusing on players who have a relationship with their All-Star big man Jarrett Allen. Allen joined the Cavs in 2021 after four seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. In that time, the Fro developed his defensive prowess by playing next to a variety of superstars and dedicated role players. Given Allen's inviting and approachable demeanor, players who know Allen well would likely fit into the Cavaliers' locker room immediately.

Various players with a connection to Allen will enter the 2024 free agency pool, but four stand out among the rest as potential and realistic targets for the Cavaliers' quest toward the NBA Finals.

Free Agent No. 1 - Bruce Brown, Jr.

Allen and 2023 NBA Champion Bruce Brown, Jr. spent less than one season together in Brooklyn from 2020-21 ahead of Allen's trade to Cleveland. Both players were early into their careers and searching for their home in the Association. Since joining the Cavaliers, Allen has helped establish and maintain a defense-first culture. Conversely, Brown has unfortunately struggled to find a long-term destination, playing for five teams in six seasons.

If there is any single thing that the Cavaliers do better than most other teams, it is showing loyalty and trust in their talent. Players who come to Cleveland tend to stick around for a while, despite the city's reputation as a small market with little to entice free agents. With a superstar in Donovan Mitchell leading the team, Brown would probably love the opportunity to play on a team with a true purpose again after leaving the Denver Nuggets.

Brown's free agency is not guaranteed, though. Last summer, Brown signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers with a team option on the second year. Now that he is with the semi-rebuilding Toronto Raptors, it is not certain that his $23 million option will be picked up. If he finds himself looking for a new home once again, the Cavaliers need to consider offering Brown their Mid-Level Exception to reconnect him and Allen.

Throughout this season, Brown has undoubtedly had a down year. His shooting splits and nightly averages have dipped, but his role has also shifted throughout the year. After serving as a reliable defender and glue guy with the Nuggets, Brown never completely discovered his fit with the Pacers or now the Raptors. If the Cavaliers believe his efficient production over the prior three seasons is more indicative of his true value, then Brown may be a possible steal in free agency on an MLE contract.