“On the same subject, there have been some whispers this week that the Cavaliers are more open to trading Jarrett Allen than advertised for the opposite reason: He appeared to struggle with the moment at various points of the Cavaliers’ five-game exit to the [New York] Knicks,” wrote NBA insider Marc Stein.
During the Cavaliers’ first-round playoff series against the Knicks, Allen averaged 9.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 block per game while making 61.1 percent of his shots from the field.
Now those numbers aren’t that bad upon first look, but it did seem like he struggled to keep up with Mitchell Robinson and other Knicks players in the intense atmospheres of games.
After the Cavaliers were eliminated at home in Game 5 of the series, Allen made a surprising and sort of concerning admission.
Jarrett Allen on this series: "Even for me, the lights were brighter than expected."
— Danny Cunningham (@RealDCunningham) April 27, 2023
The quote has been memed and used pretty often on Twitter throughout the past few months. Perhaps that admission is one reason why the Cavs appear to be more open to dealing the former first-round pick now.
Another possible reason why is because Evan Mobley is set to be eligible for an extension soon. Though he struggled in his first taste of playoff action, he figures to take another leap forward next season. If that’s the case, he’ll undoubtedly command lots of money in a new deal from the Cavs.
Cleveland is inching closer and closer to the luxury tax after making tons of moves since the start of free agency on Friday and likely wants to avoid passing that threshold in the future.
Moving off the remaining three years and $60 million from Allen’s contract would help in that pursuit. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors were previously linked to Allen earlier this offseason, though that was before the 2023 NBA Draft and start of free agency.
The one-time All-Star excels in rim protection and finishing around the rim, two things that many teams across the league could use.
It’ll be interesting to see if more rumors regarding Allen begin to trickle in as the offseason wears on.