Grade the Trade: Thunder finally land All-Star center in potent new 3-team pitch

The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking around the league at bigs, and this trade would bring an All-Star center to lock down the paint.
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
2 of 3

Laying out a trade for an All-Star center

Looking around the league, most of the centers who could be available on the trade market likely aren't worth the price of investment. Getting into the mix for Isaiah Hartenstein makes some sense, but after the bidding war ends the cost may be too high.

Jonas Valanciunas and Kevon Looney don't move the needle to start, though Looney is an intriguing option if they keep Holmgren as the starting pivot to provide stellar rebounding and defensive switchability skills.

One team that could be shopping their starting center is the Cleveland Cavaliers.

They have been trying to force the pairing of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen for the past few years, and it's crystal clear that their team plays better with just one of those two players on the court. As the Cavaliers transition their team and try to retool around Donovan Mitchell, Jarrett Allen could be on the move.

It's likely not as simple as Oklahoma City going to the Cavaliers and offering their best deal, however. The Thunder and Cavs are both trying to win now, and any deal that they put together would probably want to include Josh Giddey, both as a matching salary that isn't crucial and as a valuable young player who isn't one of their top-tier core players.

The Cavaliers, however, have little use for Giddey as they try to prioritize defense and shooting.

It isn't impossible to pull in a third team, however, and the Brooklyn Nets could be interested in joining the deal to take a chance on Giddey. Let's see what such a trade could look like to bring Jarrett Allen to Oklahoma City:

Jarrett Allen 3-team Cavs Nets

The Brooklyn Nets land a player in Josh Giddey who could step up as the team's lead ball-handler, setting up teammates like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson for shots in rhythm. They also roll the dice on Ousmane Dieng, just two years removed from being a lottery pick and of a player archetype worth investing in. That motivates them to send on Dorian Finney-Smith and a future first-round pick to the Cavaliers.

The Thunder also include Kenrich Williams, which gives the Cavaliers two rotation forwards to plug in as options around Evan Mobley at center. Given that Cleveland drained its trade coffers to land Donovan Mitchell, this deal would give them an inexpensive rookie addition this season and a future pick to use in another deal or to hold onto.

They don't get a high-level wing in exchange for Allen, but they were likely never going to get that, anyway.

If the Nets and Cavs are on board, do the Thunder say yes to this deal?