The Cleveland Cavaliers' decision to select USC big man Evan Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NBA draft reportedly will not deter them from keeping Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt for the foreseeable future.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, Cleveland is "preparing an offer in the five-year, $100 million range" for Allen.
Allen entered this offseason as a restricted free agent.
There were indications the Cavaliers wanted to keep Allen beyond the end of the 2020-21 season when they acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets via trade in January.
In February, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that Cleveland decided to keep Andre Drummond benched while it explored trading him.
"The Cavaliers are moving to make Jarrett Allen the franchise's long-term starting center and believe it's unfair to Drummond to limit his minutes as the organization transitions to Allen," Wojnarowski and Windhorst wrote at the time.
Cleveland reached a buyout agreement with Drummond, who ended up joining the Los Angeles Lakers. Allen, on the other hand, appeared in 51 games for the Cavaliers this past season and averaged 13.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a night behind 60.9 percent shooting from the field.
The University of Texas product is just 23 years old and can be part of the future in Cleveland alongside Mobley, Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. Stein's report even mentioned the team is looking to "pair him with" the USC rookie.
Allen's ability as a rim protector immediately stands out, as opponents shot 10.3 percent worse than their normal averages when he guarded them within six feet of the basket in 2020-21, per NBA.com.
If he brings that type of defense on a nightly basis during the course of this new contract, he could help the Cavaliers compete for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference once again.