Jarrett Allen did not want to get traded out of Brooklyn.
He was part of a young core in Brooklyn — with Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and Caris LeVert — that lifted a struggling franchise into the playoffs. They had a bond, they played the right way, and the Nets became a franchise that could attract Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Then eventually trade for James Harden. Allen didn’t want to be part of the trade, but if he were in Nets GM Sean Marks’ shoes, he says he’d do the same thing (via Michael Scotto at Hoopshype).
“In all honesty, I would say I would do it, I’m not going to lie,” Allen said. “If you look at what happened with the Lakers, they did the same thing. They went and got their ring. If I take myself out of it, I would’ve loved to stay in Brooklyn, but I understand that in an opportunity like that, you have to go do it.”
Basketball is a cold business sometimes. Intellectually Allen knows that, but it doesn’t make the emotional part of getting traded any easier.
“It was definitely rough on me,” Allen said. “Even though you say it’s the business of basketball, it never makes it easier. But at the end of the day, it’s the business, and you have to move on.”
Allen, a restricted free agent after this season who will get paid by someone (most likely Cleveland), loved playing for Brooklyn and wanted to stay there. The young core there had bonded. He also knows that the chance to compile talents such as Durant, Harden, and Irving rarely come along, and if a franchise can get them and turn themselves into instant contenders, they do it.
Allen will be coming off the bench in Cleveland (at least for now), playing behind Andre Drummond, who also is in the final year of his contract and could be a trade target. JaVale McGee is also in the Cleveland center rotation.