Jarrett Allen recently answered some questions for Cleveland.com after re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the interview, Allen was essentially asked where does he see the Cavs getting this season and in the future. Allen’s answer was unusual.
“I’ve never been a guy that puts a number on things,” Allen said. “I think if you put a number on things and you fail at it, kind of regret doing it, makes you feel bad about yourself. But … if we can accelerate the process, especially in our growth and in our knowledge on the basketball court, then maybe two, three years down the line we’re fighting for that fifth seed or something.”
Clearly the surprise in this answer was the fact Allen said maybe Cleveland could battle for a fifth seed in a couple of years. For fans, this may seem underwhelming compared to winning NBA titles. However, if Cleveland is fighting for a fifth seed in 2-3 seasons, this could be a successful rebuild.
Why Allen’s Answer Isn’t Bad
Many Cavaliers fans discussed Allen’s comments, and even said his comments were negative. Fans sometimes expect players to discuss championship aspirations no matter what. However, right now during a Cavaliers rebuild Allen’s answer is just realistic. Cleveland will not be competing for an NBA title within the next few years, it is highly unlikely.
The first step for the Cavaliers in their rebuild is making the playoffs again. Maybe in the upcoming season, or year after, Cleveland can sneak into the NBA Playoffs as a seven or eight seed. Just making the playoffs right now would be a victory for the franchise.
Looking ahead, there is hardly any situation where the Cavs are competing for a title in a few seasons. Many things would have to happen, including possible trades or finally signing quality free agents. Of course, the ultimate goal of a rebuild is to win titles. Cleveland could eventually compete at the highest level with their current core, who knows what happens.
It would not be the end of the world if the Cavs are not competing for a title in three seasons. Just look how young the core is right now, the key pieces for the Cavs would be entering the beginning of their prime years in three seasons. In three years, Collin Sexton would only be 25-years-old, Darius Garland would be 24, Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley would be 23 and Allen would still only be 26-years-old. The Cavaliers could potentially have plenty of years left with their core beyond three years from now. This will all depend on how future contract extensions shake out.
Cleveland Fans Need to be Patient
When a small market team in the NBA rebuilds, it takes time. The Cavs are putting together a really good young core right now, this is just the first step. Cleveland will need to eventually add some veterans to come off their bench, the addition of Ricky Rubio is a start. Now that Cleveland could have a young core consisting of Sexton, Garland, Okoro, Mobley and Allen, it is time to let them develop.
The Cavs are not going to just click and be a perennial playoff team overnight. They will go on some losing stretches going forward. What matters is Cleveland’s rebuild is trending up right now.
Once again, Allen hoping to compete for a fifth seed in 2-3 years is not bad. Going from one of the worst teams in the NBA to being one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams is a huge jump. If the Cavs got something like a five or six seed, they would likely be good enough to even win a playoff series.
Cleveland’s future with their young core would be extremely exciting if they’re winning a playoff series within the next couple of seasons. Overall, Cavalier fans need to remain patient. The Cavs’ core looks very promising right now, there is a real chance to eventually have multiple All-Stars on this team.
Also, Allen’s comments should not be a knock on his work ethic or aspirations. Allen is simply being realistic. Allen already discussed how he loves the city of Cleveland, he resigned for a reason. Cleveland has gotten the right guys for their franchise. Players like Allen and Sexton enjoy the city of Cleveland and want to fight for it. The Cavaliers rebuild is on an upswing, competing in the NBA playoffs could be only a couple of seasons away.
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