No. 4: Jarrett Allen
Next up is the team’s long-term center Jarrett Allen, who only arrived last January via a multi-team swap and was immediately re-signed to a massive 100 million extension as soon as free agency opened this offseason.
Some may argue that the Cavs overpaid the 23-year-old big man as they wanted to risk nothing in an effort to retain the then restricted free agent, but just charge that to the “playing in Cleveland tax”.
Everyone knows it is a norm for small market teams like ours to over-remunerate just to entice or keep players that will otherwise likely go elsewhere.
The former Brooklyn Net averaged 13.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 51 games with the Cavs, enough to command the attention of several potential suitors such as the Toronto Raptors. He is also only one of two from the Cavaliers young core who landed in both aforementioned media rankings.
Despite not being a back-to-the-basket post player, Allen is still considered a traditional center in today’s exceedingly positionless NBA landscape: a rim-protecting big that relies mostly on lobs pick-and-rolls on the offensive end. But that’s not entirely a bad thing.
Even with his limitations, Jarrett Allen is an excellent defensive anchor and partner for rookie Evan Mobley as they form Cleveland’s new Tower City frontcourt, and could be in the position to take another leap forward. That is if he continues to improve on his shooting and remains as motivated even after securing a new long-term deal.