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Why Jarrett Allen Is Highly Likely To Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at July 24, 2021

On Friday, the expected happened: Jarrett Allen was extended qualifying offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The qualifying offer makes the 23-year-old Allen a restricted free agent and, if he were to sign it, pay him $7.7 million next season. That, however, is extremely unlikely to happen. Allen’s market value is, at minimum, akin to Clint Capela’s. The Hawks center is currently in the middle of a five-year, $90 million deal he signed with the Rockets back in 2018 when he was headed into restricted free agency.

What’s next for Allen is unclear, but odds are that’s going to end with him back with the Cavaliers. A team source described Allen’s qualifying as the first step in bringing him back, an expected step in the process of making him a part of the team’s core for the next several years.

This was been the plan since the Cavs acquired Allen last fall as part of the James Harden trade. And at the end of the season, Cavs general manager Koby Altman described getting Allen as one of the highlights of last season.

“One of our biggest successes all season was trading for Jarrett Allen,” Altman said during an end of season media availability session. “He remains a remarkable fit for us, this team, our culture, what we need. Low usage but high efficiency rim protector and defender who can do everything for you. He loves it here and wants to be here.”

The Cavs could come to terms with Allen on a contract before he actually hits restricted free agency. It could be either a four or five-year deal that could be worth anywhere from $18-$20 million annually. In the Altman era, Cleveland has also structured deals to start at a higher salary number and decrease over the course of the deal. (Notably, the team structured Larry Nance Jr.’s that way, while Kevin Love’s decreases from $31.3 million to 2021-22 to $28.9 in 2022-23.) With potential Collin Sexton and Darius Garland extensions coming down the line, creating some flexibility when those hypothetical extensions makes sense if Allen’s camp is amenable.

Allen also probably will have a market if he does take meetings in restricted free agency. Teams like the Raptors, Hornets and Mavericks all have cap space, have a need at center and make compelling pitches if it gets that far. Dallas actually has a history of being willing to engage with restricted free agents, notably signing Chandler Parsons to a player-friendly deal back in 2014.

The Cavs, though, have matching rights to any offer sheet Allen were to sign. By all accounts, they are motivated to sign him to a deal and lock him in going forward. And even if he signs an offer sheet with another team, Cleveland can and probably will match. Odds are, Allen will be back in wine & gold next year.


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