Jarrett Allen compares Cavs to recent Nets team
On the surface, Jarrett Allen’s move from Brooklyn to the Cavs hardly appears beneficial, from a winning perspective.
Allen was traded to the Cavaliers as part of the three-team deal that sent James Harden to the Nets. Whereas “The Fro” was once an important frontcourt piece for a team expected to contend for a title (even without Harden), he now finds himself on a young Cavs team still building an identity.
However, Allen sees plenty of moxie in this Cavs squad. He likened the team to the 2017-18 Nets.
Jarrett Allen says early impressions of #Cavs give him 2017-18 Nets vibes.
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) January 18, 2021
This would not seem to be an ideal comparison for Cavs fans. After all, that Nets team won just 28 games.
But the large picture is important. Brooklyn acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2017. Youngsters like Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Allen had the opportunity to cultivate chemistry and grow together during that 2017-18 campaign. Just one year later, the Nets won 14 more games (42-40) and made the playoffs.
Perhaps Allen sees a similar trajectory for the Cavs. Cleveland’s young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland has been showing out, and the Cavs have established a surprisingly stifling defense under J.B. Bickerstaff. Are they ready for a playoff run in the near future?
Allen will play a large role in determining the answer to that question. The 22-year-old will be a restricted free agent this coming summer, but the Cavs figure to re-sign him as the successor to Andre Drummond, who will be unrestricted this summer.
In any case, Allen appears to be putting a positive spin on his move to Cleveland.