The Cavs offered Jarret Allen a new contract the same day Isaiah Hartenstein declined his.
The Cavs had an interesting Friday. Early on in the day, Isaiah Hartenstein opted out of his player option for the 2021-2022 season; making him a free agent. The other big talking point for the day, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor was that Cleveland officially offered Jarrett Allen, the team’s other center, a qualifying offer.
Hartenstein’s move was rather unexpected, considering he had a solid year with the Cavaliers as a reserve big-man, and fit in well with Cavalier coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s defensive mindset. There’s always a chance he returns but with the Cavs rumored to be selecting Even Mobley in the 2021 NBA Draft, there seems to be very little chance that he’d return.
For Allen, he’s now a restricted free agent, which means that if a team attempts to sign him, the Cavaliers would have the first right of refusal. Either they match the terms of the team that attempts to sign him, or they let him sign elsewhere.
His qualifying offer is only a one-year, $7.1 million offer, but he’s not going to settle for that offer. Someone will offer him much more than that, with SB Nation’s Fear the Sword reporting that Allen’s market value is around that of Clint Capela’s ($90 million over five years).
Jarrett Allen returning may still complicate the NBA Draft for the Cavs
The hope among many within the organization is that Allen returns to Cleveland. The team isn’t expected to just wait on a team to try and sign Allen, and have either already come up with a few offers for the big-man or may be about to.
Allen’s return to the team complicates the draft but it may also explain why Harteinstein left. If he knew the Cavaliers would draft Mobley, then he knew he’d be limited on playing time. If the Cavaliers did draft Mobely though, it would limit either the offensive output that he could provide (in theory) or Allen’s defensive abilities.
It doesn’t make sense to have two number-one centers on the same team. To say the Cavaliers have created some interesting smoke screens ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft would be an understatement.