Cavs trade for Jarrett Allen lays groundwork for another big trade

Cavs Jarrett Allen (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Cavs Jarrett Allen (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Cavs trade for Jarrett Allen could lead to future trade of Andre Drummond

The Cavs weren’t just a throw-in team to help facilitate a trade that cleared the way for James. Harden to join the Brooklyn Nets.

No, the Cavs actually made out pretty well, acquiring center Jarrett Allen and small forward Taurean Prince.

No, no need inform the post office to deliver the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Rocket Mortgage Field House just yet, however, the Cavs took another step in their rebuild by finding a long-term fit at center.

The Cavs now have a surplus of centers, led by Andre Drummond, Allen, JaVale McGee and Larry Nance Jr. They’re talking to Drummond about an extension, however, the two sides reportedly haven’t made any progress on a new contract. Drummond can be a free agent at season’s end.

Drummond will most certainly walk, which makes him a prime candidate for the Cavs to deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline. For a contender, acquiring Drummond would be a dream scenario in that he’s a “win now player,” while his contract comes off the books at the end of the season.

Granted, the Cavs would have to take bad a bad contract to make the money work, and Drummond is making $28 million, but if anyone can get it done, it’s general manager Koby Altman.  If they keep him for the remainder of the season and lose him and lose him in free agency, at least they’ll have Allen ready to step in.

Acquiring Allen takes me back to the summer when the Cavs were supposedly very high on Memphis prospect James Wiseman ahead of the draft. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Cleveland made the trade to acquire Drummond because they wanted to see how the team’s young nucleus would react playing with a true center.

Wiseman wasn’t meant to be, but in Allen, Cleveland landed their long-term replacement in the 22-year old Texas product. Allen can become a restricted free agent after this season. Teams will be able to offer Allen a contract, but the Cavs will be able to match it, if they so choose.

Currently, there’s a lot of money set to come off the Cavs’ books after the season–and with the franchise’s inability to lure free agents to northeast Ohio, they’ll almost certainly match whatever Allen garners on the market.

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Additionally, look for the Cavs to deal JaVale McGee at some point. He’s a trade chip who will be much easier to move since he’s making $4.2 million on a deal that expires at season’s end.