Update: Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
The Cavaliers are preparing an offer in the five-year, $100 million range to center Jarrett Allen, league sources say. Strong signals that Cleveland will re-sign the RFA Allen to pair him with Evan Mobley.
Two hours to go before free agency. More from me: https://t.co/A6ycVm5PUQ
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 2, 2021
That’s a ton of money to pay Allen without making him even first get an offer sheet in restricted free agency. But two caveats: Perhaps, the Cavs verified a large offer sheet was coming and both sides agreed to bypass the formal signing-and-matching process, ending up in a similar place without delay.* The contract might include incentives and other unguaranteed elements, making it more team-friendly.
*It’s not the same place. Offer sheets can be for just four seasons.
For now, Allen and Mobley – who needs time to add strength – can play together. But Mobley’s special skill set will probably be maximized long-term at center, not power forward.
The big question for the Cavaliers: Will Allen hold positive trade value on this contract if he and Mobley aren’t an optimal pairing? Again, it’s impossible to say without knowing exact terms. Allen is pretty good. But $100 million is an eye-popping number. Though Allen is just 23, his lob-finishing, rim-protect style carries only moderate untapped upside.
Another big, Kevin Love, is due $60,201,086 over the next two years. Not that Cleveland should give him much consideration in team-building. But it’s a complication.