4 Cavaliers Playing Their Final Postseason in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers are entering a pivotal postseason. It may be the last playoffs in a Cavs jersey for a few key players.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Despite dealing with unfortunate and significant injuries all season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are making the Eastern Conference Playoffs once again. J.B. Bickerstaff and the team survived the storm when they had at least two of their core four out for an extended period of time during the season.

However, the Cavs were also disappointing when they had their full roster available. Now that the second full season of the Darius Garland-Donovan Mitchell-Evan Mobley-Jarrett Allen quartet is in the books, Cleveland has a better idea of how good they are with this core. The answer, unfortunately, is not as good as they were hoping for.

With their core four on the floor together, the Cavs had a net rating of +3.0. This is fine, but it's nowhere near the elite level a championship contender has to be with their best players on the floor. While they have the fifth-best defense in the league, they had a below-average offensive efficiency all season.

This signals that changes in the offseason are needed. Garland-Mitchell backcourt is undersized and creates defensive liabilities. Garland took a step back this season and played nowhere near his All-Star level back in the 2021-22 season.

Similarly, Jarrett Allen-Evan Mobley frontcourt was also underwhelming. Mobley failed to improve his shooting and playmaking on the offensive end. Having two non-shooters on the floor creates significant problems for the Cavs' offense, being one of the major reasons why the team was below average on offense. Cleveland's offense looked much better when Mobley was out due to the fact that they were able to put more shooting on the floor with Sam Merrill, Max Strus, and Georges Niang.

So, unless the Cavs surprise everybody and pull off a conference finals run, expect some major changes in the offseason. Who are the likeliest candidates to move? Let's explore.

1. Jarrett Allen

This is either Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley but due to the fact that Allen is older and has less of an upside than Mobley, he seems like the likelier option to not be a Cavalier next season.

Only looking at this season, it's hard to argue that Mobley has been better than Allen. On the contrary, Allen has been one of the few consistently productive players for the Cavs this season. Playing in more games than every other member of the core four, Allen is having a career-best scoring production while continuing his impact in rim protection.

At age 26, Allen is one of the better centers in the league and should only continue to get better.

But, his fit with Mobley remains a question mark. Like Mobley, Allen also hasn't been able to add a three-point shot to his arsenal. He is strictly a roll man and a lob threat in the pick-and-roll. With Mobley occupying the same areas as him offensively, it makes building a really dangerous, dynamic offense very difficult.

Allen is under contract for two more years for a $20 million annual salary. That is a very team-friendly contract, which should draw a lot of interest around the league. The Cavs should test the trade market for him this season and try to get a wing who can defend on the perimeter and shoot threes. This would allow them to move Mobley to the center, which should be his primary position going forward.

We all love Jarrett Allen but moving on from him might be necessary for the Cavs to take the next step.