As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to rebuild, they will look to bolster their roster in the upcoming offseason. For the most part, most of Cleveland’s roster should stay in tact since the majority of the roster is under contract. Only two players on the roster will become free agents this offseason. Will the Cavaliers resign both impending free agents, or let them walk?
Picking Up Rookie Options
Cleveland has a rather young roster, so many players are on rookie contracts. Further, the Cavaliers have picked up rookie options on their young, promising stars. For example, the Cavs picked up both rookie options on Collin Sexton. This has kept Sexton from hitting free agency, and keeps him at a low salary of roughly 5-6 million per year. In addition, Cleveland picked up Darius Garland’s first rookie year option back in December. More than likely, Cleveland will also pick up Isaac Okoro’s rookie options starting this upcoming winter.
Of course, these moves on rookie contract are no brainers. Players like Sexton and Garland are not going to be cheap once their rookie contracts end. Also, these rookie options prevent huge roster turnovers in free agency. Cleveland does not want big roster turnovers during a rebuilding process.
The first Cleveland player to hit free agency will be Matthew Dellavedova. The Aussie guard is on a minimum contract of roughly two million dollars. Dellavedova had a rough 2020-21 season to say the least. He missed the majority of the season due to injuries. In particular, Dellavedova missed an extended period of time due to a concussion.
The veteran guard only appeared in 13 games this season. Also, Dellavedova averaged 2.8 points while shooting only 25% from the floor. Cleveland will likely move on from Dellavedova this offseason after his unproductive season. If the Cavs land a guard in the draft or free agency to improve their backcourt depth, Dellavedova is almost certainly out of Cleveland.
While most of Cleveland’s free agency will seem uneventful, Jarrett Allen should be the focus of their offseason. Koby Altman, the Cavaliers’ general manager, executed a fantastic trade landing Allen for cheap in the blockbuster Brooklyn Nets trade. Allen proved to be a consistent, reliable center in the 2020-21 season. Allen’s production allowed Cleveland to move on from the overpaid Andre Drummond. In 51 games with Cleveland, Allen averaged 13.2 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting an efficient 60.9%. In addition, Allen showed some All-Star potential in some monster performances. For example, Allen had 26 points and 18 rebounds while shooting 10/11 on February 24th against the Rockets.
Considering Drummond’s departure from Cleveland, the Cavs will want to resign Allen this offseason. The former Texas Longhorn can be Cleveland’s center of the future at only 23 years-old. However, there will be competition for the young center. Recently, the Hornets and Mavericks emerged as potential suitors for Allen this offseason.
Report: Some NBA executives believe Jarrett Allen could be pursued by Hornets and Mavericks https://t.co/2A5tIMFWCH
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 11, 2021
Cleveland will have the last say since Allen is a restricted free agent. During the 2020-21 season, some suggested the Cavaliers will offer Allen a long-term $100+ million contract. More than likely, no team in the NBA will offer Allen much higher. As long as no team offers an extremely lucrative contract, Cleveland will likely match anything. Since Allen is a restricted free agent, the Cavs should feel comfortable. If Allen was unrestricted, potential playoff contenders like the Mavericks and Hornets offering long-term contracts could have been a problem. However, Cleveland can match any deal Allen is offered. Clearly, Allen will be the main story to watch in Cleveland this offseason.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.