Grade the Trade: Warriors finally land All-Star center in bold new pitch

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Do the Warriors make this trade?

The Golden State Warriors likely need to address multiple areas of the roster this summer if they are going to truly reload for another run at the title, and they may only be able to use their collection of draft picks once. This deal moves on from a couple of younger players without giving up any draft picks or their most valuable prospects in Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski.

In return they get an All-Defense level center in the middle. Jarrett Allen is consistently among the league leaders in most rim protection metrics and has the size to defend larger players and the foot speed to switch onto the perimeter or recover to the paint when he is pulled out of position. He is one of the best players in the league at defending pick-and-roll actions.

At the other end of the court, Allen thrives as a pick-and-roll big man, something the Warriors have begun leaning into more and more. Whether they keep Chris Paul or not, his size and vertical gravity sprinting into the paint will force defenses to make impossible decisions: stop the seven-footer from catching and dunking, or leave someone like Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry wide open on the perimeter.

Caris LeVert can also step in as a Sixth Man for the Warriors and give them real shot creation and playmaking off the bench. The Warriors didn't have anyone to put into the game to create offense for them when Stephen Curry was bottled up last season; this deal would give them just that player, and at the same time LeVert has grown as a defender and off-ball player.

If the Warriors did not make another significant move, they could start Curry, Thompson, Kuminga, Draymond Green and Jarrett Allen in a jumbo lineup, then have Podziemski, Caris LeVert, Gary Payton II and Kevon Looney coming off the bench. They also could make a big swing with Kuminga and picks for a second offensive star to play at the 2 or 3, further opening up the floor-spacing. Adding Allen gives them the defensive foundation with which to stand on as they weaponize the offense.

The Warriors could lean into Draymond Green at center and not add another non-shooting big, but their history and the success of lineups last season that paired Green and Jackson-Davis point to the Warriors at least looking at big centers who can be defensive anchors. Jarrett Allen is a really good one, on a very reasonable contract, and this deal would undoubtedly make them a better team, and could be the first step to rebuilding a contender in Golden State.

Grade: A-

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