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Breaking Down the Trade Idea: Could Cavs Trade All-Star Big?

Sep 14, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman speaks to the media during an introductory press conference at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of May, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley put out the article ‘1 New Trade Idea for Every NBA Team’. The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the hottest teams in terms of the NBA trade market this offseason. Three members of the Cavs ‘big four’ have been in trade rumors already this summer. Let’s take a look at Buckley’s proposed deal.

Breaking Down the Trade Idea: Could Cavs Trade All-Star Big?

Cavaliers Receive

Pelicans Receive

The prospect of trading Jarrett Allen should not interest Cavs fans. Allen, 26, has been with the Cavs since 2021, and in his three-plus years in Cleveland, he has averaged 15.1 points and 10.3 rebounds. Allen was named an All-Star in 2022 and this past season received votes for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. He has been a perennial double-double machine and one of the few constants in what has been a lackluster Cavs offense the last few years. 

Allen’s Impact

Trade rumors have come up involving Allen due to the narrative that he and Evan Mobley cannot coexist as a front court. However, since Mobley was drafted in June 2021, the duo are a +491, or +3.0 per game, when they are on the court together in 163 games played. The Cavs also post a 102-61 record when both big men play. As Mobley continues his development into his fourth NBA season, he is beginning to spread the floor more too. Since his return from injury on January 30th, he is shooting 40.8% from three on 1.8 attempts per game, both career highs. As this part of his game continues to grow, he will become more of a stretch big allowing Allen to fit in seamlessly as the team’s primary center. 

Losing Allen would mean Mobley would be the Cavs long-term center. This past season the Cavs were most successful using a lineup that consisted of just one of Mobley or Allen. However, Allen’s rim protection allows Mobley to be more versatile offensively. Allen has allowed Cleveland to use Mobley as the ‘four’. The two complement each other quite well already and it’s only the beginning with the duo both being 26 or younger.

Cavs President Koby Altman has also been on the record stating, “I don’t see big major sweeping changes. I just don’t.” It would be a major shock for the Cavs to move on from Allen. However, the proposed return of Daniels and Nance Jr. could be intriguing. 

Cavs Return

Dyson Daniels is the main prize of this deal for the Cavaliers. Daniels is a 6’8” play-making defensive wing and would fill a major need for the Cavs. In just his second season in the NBA, he recorded 5.8 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. His strength lies on the defensive end he had a defensive rating of 110.3 this past season, ranking second on his team. While shooting just 31.1% on 2.2 attempts per game, Daniels is only 21 and will continue to improve his outside shooting and overall game.

The Cavs would also re-acquire Larry Nance Jr. Nance played for the Cavs from 2018-2021, during his time in Cleveland he averaged 9.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a night. At 6’8″, 245 lbs, he would play the role of a big man for the Cavs similar to what he does in New Orleans currently. Nance has been an efficient scorer his whole career, shooting 54%, and would provide solid interior scoring in return for Allen. Finally, the Cavs would acquire another first-round draft pick. They already hold the 2oth overall pick for this year’s draft and could add more depth to their rotation. There are several players in play for Cleveland in the middle of the first round. Including, Colorado’s Tristan Da Silva or Pitt’s Carlton Carrington.

Overall, Altman’s seeming reluctance to trade any of the Cavs ‘big four’ makes any Allen trade unlikely. However, Buckley’s idea of a return for a stud defender, interior versatility, and more youth make it an interesting possibility for Cleveland.


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