Bucking recent trends, Jarrett Allen actually wants to be with the Cavs.
The Cavs recently re-signed Jarrett Allen to a five-year, $100 million contract. It’s a deal that’ll pay him $20 million annually for the next five years. It’s also a contract that many have said is a bit of an overpay for the young center and that’s true, though it’s not by much. Most thought he was worth around $15-16 million per year, so it was within the ballpark of what many would be ok with it. It wasn’t like they paid him $30 or even $40 million per year.
It’s an acceptable contract and still one that’s highly moveable if need be.
Allen didn’t need to sign the new deal. He could’ve tested free agency eventually or even demanded a trade. That wasn’t what Allen wanted. He wanted to be in Cleveland. He wants to be one of the key pieces that help turn the franchise around.
Speaking with Cleveland.com, Allen said;
"Coming from Brooklyn, the championship aspirations in Brooklyn and then coming to a rebuilding team where not every game is going to be a fight for the championship, we know that, but we’re all fighting to get better, fighting to improve our game so down the line we can be part of a championship team. Seeing a team like this, knowing what it takes, we have all the right guys and the right mindsets to do it. So, I thought, ‘Hey, I’m willing to be part of this again, especially with these guys.’I see a bright future here that I fit in perfectly."
Jarrett Allen will look to help the Cavs make the playoffs
Usually, the Cavs aren’t a hotspot for free agents. While Allen wasn’t a free agent perse, he was someone who was adamant about staying in Cleveland. Allen will now try to be the face of the franchise or at least one of, and help lead the Cavaliers back to the playoffs without LeBron James on the roster.
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A task that hasn’t been accomplished since 1998. Ironically, that was also the last year Michael Jordan was a member of the Chicago Bulls. Kind of fitting that the man who sank the Cavs so many times in the 80s and 90s would retire the same year the Cavs make their last playoff without James.
This is even more ironic considering Jordan and James are now synonymous with one another.
Considering it’s been 23 years since the Cavaliers last got to the playoffs without James, Allen is going to have his work cut out for him. He’ll need guys to step up and play well who haven’t in the past. He’ll also need continued progression from Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, and even Cedi Osman.
He’ll even need vets like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio to be efficient in their time on the court and mostly, he’ll need to take major steps as well. He needs to be more effective offensively and far more active defensively. He’ll need to prove he’s worth that money.
If he can’t, then the playoffs will remain even further away.