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Should Emerging Center Jarrett Allen Start?

Should Emerging Center Jarrett Allen Start?

The emerging center Jarrett Allen has been playing at a high level, which leads to the question should Allen start of Andre Drummond? Drummond is on the last year of his contract, and there has been trade rumors swirling around the center for weeks now. Recently, Allen has seen some starts due to power forward injuries on the Cavs’ roster. However, Allen still is not seen as the starting center on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Allen’s Offensive Efficiency

Typically, NBA centers will have high offensive efficiency due to most of their field goal attempts being right at the rim. Allen boasts exceptional offensive efficiency even for a center. The 6-foot-11 center is in the top five of nearly every offensive efficiency statistic.

Allen is second in the NBA in 2-point field goal percentage at 67.3%. For comparison, Drummond leads the league in 2-point attempts and only shoots 48.8%.The former Brooklyn Net leads the NBA in total field goal percentage at the mark of 66.7%. Effective field goal percentage essentially gives shooters more credit for making 3-pointers. In effective field goal percentage, Allen is third in the NBA at 67%. The Cavaliers center also leads the league in true shooting percentage at a clip of 72.2%.

The impressive offensive statistics does not stop at field goal percentages. Allen is second in the NBA in offensive rating, which measures a players efficiency. In offensive win shares per 48 minutes, the center is 10th in the NBA.


Allen is also known for being a tenacious rim protector. The 6-foot-11 center is fifth in the NBA in block percentage. Allen’s block percentage is 5.6%, so he gets a block 5.6% of defensive possessions. The former Texas Longhorn has 42 blocks this season, this is 5th in the NBA. Allen also averages 1.7 blocks per game, which is seventh in the NBA.

The current starting center in Cleveland has solid defense as well. Drummond has a block percentage that ranks 20th in the NBA at 3.7%. The center is 22nd in the NBA with 1.2 blocks per game, and 18th in the NBA with 29 total blocks.

The Brooklyn Nets have struggled mightily on defense since they acquired James Harden. Of course, Allen landed in Cleveland via the blockbuster Harden trade. The Nets’ defensive rating was remarkably higher this season when Allen was their center.



Allen is a solid rebounding center as well. In offensive rebounds, Allen is 11th in the league with 71. In addition, the center is 18th in the NBA with 151 defensive rebounds.

Drummond, the current Cavs starting center, is possibly the NBA’s best rebounder. The 7-footer boasts a league-high 100 offensive rebounds. Drummond is second in total rebounds with 332, and third in defensive rebounds with 232.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Future

The Cavs possess two great centers in Allen and Drummond. Both centers have fair arguments as to why they should be the starting center. Allen seems to be the more efficient offensive player, while Drummond is the better rebounding center.

With so many rumors surrounding Drummond’s future, his stay in Cleveland seems to be on its last leg. Drummond’s salary of the 2020-21 season is roughly $27 million. With players like Collin Sexton and Allen likely receiving extensions this offseason, the Cavaliers simply cannot afford to keep Drummond.

Allen is at the young age of 22, and seems to be improving every season. The former Brooklyn Net appears to be Cleveland’s center of the future, due to this the Cavs may want to shift their focus to the young, emerging center.


All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and Land of Basketball.

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