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Big men trade market: Cavaliers’ Jarrett Allen, Hawks’ Clint Capela could be available this summer

2024 NBA Playoffs - Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball during the game against the Orlando Magic during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2024 at the Kia Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA Draft Combine — which took place last week in Chicago — is the first big gathering of front office personnel of the offseason, and it’s where trade rumors start to gain momentum.

Out of that, news of two quality starting centers being on the trade block started to emerge: Cleveland’s Jarrett Allen and Atlanta’s Clint Capela.

Allen isn’t a surprise, I mentioned that he could possibly be traded when writing about the Cavaliers’ offseason. Everything in Cleveland starts with Donovan Mitchell’s decision on the max extension he will be offered, but the Cavaliers are expected to offer Evan Mobley a max or near-max extension as well. One thing clear this season was that the Cavaliers were better with one center — either Mobley or Allen — than both. If the Cavaliers want one center and are about to max out Mobley (who had a great final game against Boston, scoring 33), it’s not hard to connect the dots.

Marc Stein confirmed this reasoning and said in a recent newsletter there are a lot of teams interested in Allen.

“Allen continues to have numerous admirers in rival front offices despite the whispers of frustration circulating in Cleveland surrounding Allen’s apparent reluctance to take a pain-killing injection to address a rib injury that sidelined him for the Cavaliers’ final eight playoff games.”

Allen averaged 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds a game for the Cavaliers last season, and is a plus defender in the paint. He could help a lot of teams looking for a more traditional center. He is under contract for two more years at $20 million a season, a fair price for a quality center.

Stein also wrote about the Hawks Clint Capela hitting the trade market, although that was more speculative. This is more of a pure numbers game, but if Atlanta uses its No. 1 pick in the June draft on French big man Alex Sarr, something has to give. From Stein:

“The presence of Onyeka Okongwu and potential arrival of another big man through the draft, with Atlanta holding the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1975, is expected to make Capela available.”

Capela averaged 11.5 points and 10.6 rebounds a game for the Hawks last season. While he doesn’t space the floor, he is efficient around the rim (57.1% shooter last season) and a solid defender in the paint.

With the Hawks looking to move one of their guards — Trae Young or Dejounte Murray — this offseason, Capela could be part of that package or moved on his own. Capela will make $22.3 million next season but is an expiring contract, which could appeal to playoff teams flirting with the second apron of the tax.

Allen is the likelier of the two to be on the move this summer, but these are a couple of names to watch as we move into the trade season.