Entering the 2020-2021 season, the Brooklyn Nets hold the most talent they have ever had in franchise history and are true championship contenders. Imagine reading this 4 years ago, after going 20-62 without any assets to show for it.
Lead by former NBA champions and current superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, backed by arguably the deepest supporting cast in the league, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris (assuming he is re-signed), and Jarrett Allen, the Nets have a real shot of winning their first championship in the NBA era.
The league is wide open without any uber teams, like the 2018 Golden State Warriors, to scare teams off from playing to win now. Every contender holds only two star players, not three or more. This has sparked numerous trade ideas for the Nets to trade for another star player to make them the clear favorite.
In all honesty, this article was originally going to defend why Caris LeVert is their third star and why they should keep him. However, after digging deeper, I realized the player that everyone seems to be totally fine with trading, should actually be the player they covet the most.
Yes, Jarrett Allen. The 22 year old, 6’11’ 245lb (back up?) center. One of the reasons why Kenny Atkinson was fired was because he recognized Allen’s talent and was starting him over DeAndre Jordan. However, general managers, KD and Kyrie, simply did not agree and let him go.
Now, Allen is perceived to be redundant as DeAndre and himself are very similar players. Long, athletic, defensive bigs who are limited offensively. Nets fans are throwing Jarrett Allen in every trade scenario possible, not realizing how special he is.
Jarrett Allen’s (age 21) traditional numbers for the 2019-2020 season:
- In 26.5 Min: 11.1 PPG, 9.6 RBS, 1.6 AST, 1.3 BLKs, 0.6 STLS, .649 FG%
- Per 36 Min: 15.1 PPG, 13.0 RBS, 2.1 AST, 1.8 BLKs, 0.8 STLS, .649 FG%
He ranked 26th in the league in Defensive Win Shares at 2.9 amongst the entire league.
For reference, here are the leaders and notable players in this category:
- (1) Giannis Anteokounmpo – 5.0
- (2) Anthony Davis – 4.4
- (3) Rudy Gobert – 4.2
- (4) Brook Lopez – 4.1
- (5) Bam Adebayo – 3.9
- (26) Jarrett Allen – 2.9
- (32) Joel Embiid – 2.7
- (62) DeAndre Jordan – 2.2
Other rankings in advanced metrics amongst every player:
- 4th in True Shooting % (.664)
- 10th in Win Shares Per 48 (.212) [!]
- 11th in Total Rebound % (18.7)
- 14th in Win Shares (8.2) [!]
- 16th in Offensive Win Shares (5.2) [!]
- 30th in PER (20.7)
- 38th in BPM (2.3)
- 39th in VORP (2.0)
- 61st in PIPM (1.63)
We saw flashes of what Jarrett Allen looks like without DeAndre Jordan in 10 games during the NBA Bubble.
In 34 Min: 13.5 PPG, 12.5 RBS, 3.4 AST, 1.4 BLK, 0.5 STL, 64.5 FG%, 75.5 FT%
You may be saying what does this all mean? It means Jarrett Allen is a star in the making, and needs to be valued as such.
Allen’s best comparable is to Brooklyn Net’s very own, DeAndre Jordan and Miami Heat’s star center, Bam Adebayo.
Let’s look at the age 21 seasons for Adebayo (2nd season) and Allen (3rd season):
Their numbers are strikingly similar, yet Allen is better across the board outside of assists and FT%. However, Allen lacks the strength, handle, and passing ability of Bam, which you can’t see from the numbers.
Let’s look at DeAndre Jordan in his 3rd season (age 22) compared to Jarrett Allen’s 3rd season (age 21):
Allen is a mix of both these former and future all-star’s (DeAndre Jordan and Bam Adebayo, respectively)
He can become a more polished version of DeAndre offensively, combined with the defensive versatility of being able to switch on to point guards like Bam.
Below is a clip of Fro’ getting switched onto CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in the same game (Start – 2:13):
Allen even has a nice jumpshot!
One of the biggest tells for shooting potential is at the free throw line. Allen shot 65% at the line pre-bubble but increased it to 75% during the bubble in a 10 games.
What Allen lacks, in which Bam and DeAndre have, is size. Allen weighs in at 245lbs, Bam at 255lbs, and Dre at 265lbs. Allen often gets muscled down low against the likes of bigs such as Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis.
The biggest “move” the Nets need to make is get Jarrett Allen in the weight room and gain 10-15lbs. As a 22 year old, beginner lifter with world class trainers and dietitians at hand, this is extremely feasible. This will allow Allen to hold his ground against the league’s biggest centers, and pave the way to become the next great big man. He has the length, athleticism, IQ, but just lacks strength.
“We literally have DeAndre Jordan. Why do we need another one? Also, KD, Kyrie and Dre are best friends so he can’t even be traded.”
DeAndre Jordan is now entering his 11th, age 32 season, and his best days are behind him. His biggest strength is defense. There are three major factors to consider to whether a player can be good at defense; IQ, size, and athleticism.
DeAndre is a smart defensive minded player, but he cannot act on his smarts if his legs do not go with him. He was solid last year, but you could already see his athleticism waning.
Do you want to bet on a player who can’t shoot whatsoever that solely relies on his athleticism to be a positive on both ends of the court when he can fall off any day now? (Can’t fight father time, Dre)
And yes… Dre, KD, and Kyrie are best friends BUT Jarrett Allen is entering his prime, while DeAndre has already exited his prime.
KD and Kyrie are highly motivated to win another ring. KD is still getting shit for going to the Warriors, and Kyrie’s debacle with the Celtics didn’t help his legacy. They are not going to let friendship get in the way of winning a title when they see Allen start significantly outperform DeAndre on both ends of the floor.
Feeling comfortable trading away Allen because we have 32 year old DeAndre Jordan is a huge mistake, as he can easily become the next PRIME DeAndre and Bam Adebayo lite as soon as next year…
Keeping and extending Jarrett Allen, IS WINNING NOW.