The Cleveland Cavaliers may have some competition when it comes to inking big man Jarrett Allen in restricted free agency this offseason. According to a report, the Toronto Raptors are going to be in the mix.
“There’s mutual interest between center Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers on a new deal, but the Toronto Raptors are expected to be among the strong suitors for the restricted free agent, according to sources,” wrote Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Toronto has attempted to trade for Allen in the past, sources said. The [Brooklyn] Nets traded Allen as part of the four-team blockbuster James Harden trade. In 51 games for the Cavaliers, Allen, 23, averaged 13.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.”
At the end of the day, the Cavaliers will have the final say in where Allen plays in the 2021-22 season. Since he is a restricted free agent, Cleveland will have the right to match any offer he receives on the open market. However, if the Raptors make Allen an extremely lucrative offer, there are no guarantees that the Cavaliers will prioritize re-signing the 23-year-old.
Allen has emerged as a star big man in recent years. In the 2020-21 season, he averaged a double-double with 12.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. His ceiling appears to be getting higher with each passing year.
Cleveland knew the risk it was taking when it traded for Allen in the middle of the 2020-21 season. There were never any guarantees that he was going to be with the team beyond this past season. The ball is still in the Cavaliers’ court, though, and if they want to keep him around, they can.
The Cavaliers have the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and there have been reports of the team wanting to pair draft prospect Evan Mobley with Allen in the frontcourt, which would certainly make for an exciting duo.