Brooklyn Should Not Give Up on Jarrett Allen


When the Brooklyn Nets resume their season tomorrow, one player to keep an eye on is Jarrett Allen. The three-year pro out of Texas is the lone traditional big man on the Nets’ bubble roster. With DeAndre Jordan opting not to return, these final slate of games could determine Allen’s future with the franchise.

The signing of Jordan, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving officially opened the championship window for the Nets. The team’s feel-good vibes from the previous season are a thing of the past. And while signing Jordan gives healthy competition for the starting nod at center, could the acquisition hinder the development of Allen?

Allen’s upside

It is hard to believe, but Allen is only 22 years old. Which means he is young, on an affordable contract — for now — and has the potential of being the Nets’ starting center for years to come. While the acquisition of Jordan helps the team win now, it should not urge the Nets to trade Allen away because he is not starting. When Jordan’s contract is up, Allen will be entering the prime years of his career.

When the Nets drafted Allen out of Texas in 2017, he was a thin 19-year-old. Allen has put on weight since his rookie season, allowing him to compete with the likes of an Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside and Joel Embiid. Some could argue that at 6-foot-9 and 243 pounds, Allen still is not big enough, however. Jordan, on the other hand, has an additional 20-25 pounds on Allen at 265 pounds.

Luckily for the third-year pro, he is still young and capable of putting on muscle. The Nets cannot lose patience with Allen, but his play in the bubble will be key. With Jordan out and rookie Nicolas Claxton on the roster, the pressure is on Allen to perform down in Orlando.

Allen’s development

In order to build a championship contender, a team needs to prioritize protecting the basket at all times. The Nets have two solid options at that position with Allen and Jordan. Prior to this season, Allen spent the first two seasons of his NBA career as a starter for Brooklyn. He played in 72 out of a possible 82 games in his rookie campaign.

He averaged 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds on 58.9 percent shooting from the field and also blocked over one shot in 20 minutes per contest. The numbers may not be impressive on paper, but Allen’s durability cannot go unnoticed. An athlete’s best ability is their availability, and Allen has shown that in his first three seasons in the league.

Taking a deeper dive into Allen’s numbers this season, here’s a few points that should excite Nets fans. While his minutes remain nearly the same at 26 per game, Allen’s field goal percentage (64.6) and rebounds (9.5) per game, are up. Ironically, one stat that remains the same are his blocks per game. Allen has never averaged more than 1.5 blocks in a season in his young career. But one thing is certain: when a player drives toward the rim, Allen is waiting to challenge the shot. Just ask superstars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Follow us on Twitter @NetsLead for the latest Nets news and insight.

About Rob Siwiec

Recommended for you

Powered by