Jarrett Allen was a restricted free agent this offseason, but he didn’t take long to agree to a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure enough, it was his plan to return to the Cavs all along.
The 23-year-old big man agreed to a five-year, $100 million deal to stay with the Cavs. It was a move that signifies Cleveland’s intention to make him one of their foundational pieces as they rebuild the team.
Allen knows that the Wine and Gold are far from title contention–unlike his situation with the Brooklyn Nets before he was traded–but he firmly believes the team has all the necessary tools to be a championship team in the near future. It is the reason why he opted to return and run it back instead of exploring the free agent market.
“It’s been one hell of a ride,” Allen said of the Cavs, per cleveland.com. “Coming from Brooklyn, the championship aspirations in Brooklyn and then coming to a rebuilding team where not every game is going to be a fight for the championship, we know that, but we’re all fighting to get better, fighting to improve our game so down the line we can be part of a championship team. Seeing a team like this, knowing what it takes, we have all the right guys and the right mindsets to do it. So, I thought, ‘Hey, I’m willing to be part of this again, especially with these guys.’
“I see a bright future here that I fit in perfectly.”
Of course, the massive $20 million per year deal helped in his decision. However, it is worth noting that Jarrett Allen was expected to have a number of suitors in free agency. Aside from the rebuilding Toronto Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks were also said to be interested in the young big man to pair him up with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
Allen certainly liked his experience with the Cavs so far, and Cleveland has done a great job showing him there’s a future waiting for him in the franchise as a competitor.