Report: Pelicans called Cavs about Jarrett Allen as they look to replace Jonas Valanciunas

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans called the Cleveland Cavaliers about obtaining center Jarrett Allen in a trade, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer.

The Pelicans are looking for a more mobile, rim-protecting big man this offseason, and Allen certainly fits that mold.

“Now the [San Antonio] Spurs will have to turn to other targets, perhaps someone like Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas, as New Orleans and San Antonio recently did business on offloading Devonte’ Graham’s contract, and the Pelicans, sources said, have since made Valanciunas available in search of more mobile, rim-protecting big men,” Fischer wrote. “New Orleans made one call, sources said, to Cleveland about obtaining Jarrett Allen.”

Allen would be a solid fit for the Pelicans alongside Zion Williamson, as he can protect the rim at a high level. Williamson is a great athlete, but he is a bit undersized for the power forward position. Having a lengthy shot-blocker behind him could boost the Pelicans defense.

While it seems unlikely that the Cavs would want to deal Allen, Valanciunas would be an intriguing fit for Cleveland alongside Evan Mobley.

One of the issues for the Cavs in the 2023 playoffs was their lack of outside shooting, and Mobley and Allen playing together certainly played a role in that.

Valanciunas isn’t an elite shooter, but he shot 34.9 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 season, a solid number for a center. That shooting could allow the Cavs to space the floor a little more and give Mobley more room to operate near the basket.

Allen, 25, averaged 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for the Cavs in the 2022-23 season while shooting 64.4 percent from the field.

It’s hard to see Cleveland moving off of him since he’s still a young player, especially if the primary asset in return were Valanciunas, who is now 31 years old.

Regardless, it’s likely the Cavs will be approached with more trade offers for their players as the offseason goes on.

Cleveland earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2022-23 season, so it’s unlikely that the team wants to break up the core of the roster. However, it could use some improvement around Allen, Mobley, Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell after getting knocked out in the playoffs by the New York Knicks in the first round.

If the Pelicans include more in a hypothetical Allen deal, it’s possible Cleveland could consider it.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.