Toronto Raptors: Projecting what a Jarrett Allen contract could look like

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 21: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors battles Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 21: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors battles Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Toronto Raptors free agency will be very stressful for the fanbase this year, as a team that is looking for a way to get back to the postseason will have some seriously difficult decisions to make. In addition to potentially letting Kyle Lowry hit free agency, Toronto must decide if they want to make a run at Jarrett Allen.

After a solid career with the Nets, Brooklyn sent Allen to the Cleveland Cavaliers as a part of the James Harden deal. With the Cavaliers starting to come around on the idea of taking USC center Evan Mobley with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, there is a good chance Allen could be on the move.

Allen averaged 13.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game during his time with the Cavs, proving that he can be a double-double machine and expert shot-blocker in the right role. For a Toronto team that struggled all year with depth at center, Allen would be a dream come true.

With the Mobley train picking up some steam, the Raptors appear ready to pursue Allen in free agency, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Based on his prior production, the Raptors should try to sign Allen for a contract that pays him close to $20 million per year without going overboard.

What sort of contract should the Toronto Raptors give Jarrett Allen?

The center position has some of the worst contracts in the league, as the likes of Cody Zeller and Dwight Powell made seven figures last year. With $20 million getting you into the tier of players like Myles Turner and Nikola Vucevic, Toronto needs to avoid Allen if he creeps into that range.

After all, 13.2 points per game on a team without tons of great offensive options doesn’t exactly scream “Top 8 center money.”

Still, Allen is just 23 years old, and that could earn him a contract that pays him somewhere in the $15 million to $18 million range might come to fruition. That would put him in the same class as players like Jonas Valanciunas and Clint Capela.

His lack of shooting could be a concern, but Allen has improved his scoring and rebounding in every season since he started his NBA journey. A quality shot-blocker, rim-runner, and screen-setter, Allen fits in perfectly with Toronto’s directive to get younger while aiding in their desire to retool in order to make the postseason again.

If the Raptors are able to somehow sign Allen, thereby convincing Cleveland to part with a young stud, without going anywhere near the $20 million per year range, that would be one of the biggest victories of the 2021 offseason. With Allen plugging their biggest hole for years to come, returning to the playoffs just got that much easier.

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