Report: Jarrett Allen did everything possible behind the scenes to return in the playoffs

Jason Simpson
5 Min Read
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen has made some headlines in recent weeks after missing the final eight games of his team’s playoff run due to a rib injury.

There has been some buzz that Allen perhaps didn’t do everything in his power to return to action, but according to Cavs insider Chris Fedor, Allen actually did “everything that he could do behind the scenes” to try to take the court again.

“I think that’s a heat-of-the-moment type thing,” Fedor said of rumors that some Cavs members felt like Allen could have done more to return to action during the playoffs. “I think that’s an emotional thing because you’re in the middle of a playoff series, and you wanna give your best shot to a team, and you’re not able to because you don’t have a really, really important player. I think emotions were really, really raw at the time because everybody wanted Jarrett to be out there, Jarrett included.

“He was doing everything that he could do behind the scenes to try and see if he could give it a go. It is an injury — whether it’s a bruised rib, whether it’s a pierced rib, whether it’s a broken rib — it is an injury that takes weeks to recover from. It becomes months if you’re talking about a broken rib or a fractured rib.”

The one-time All-Star appeared in Cleveland’s first four playoff games before going on the shelf. He wound up missing three games against the Orlando Magic in the first round and all five of his squad’s games against the Boston Celtics in the second round.

Fedor continued, explaining that Allen was facing a virtually impossible battle.

“But it is something that takes weeks, and that’s not to get on the basketball floor and be effective,” said Fedor. “That’s to be healthy enough, safe enough, protected enough, healed enough to actually go about day-to-day stuff, right?

“We’re talking about playing physical, playoff-level basketball through that, where you have to reach up above your head on basically every single possession because of the responsibilities that you have, when you have to set more than 100 screens a night because of the responsibilities that you have on offense. There just wasn’t a way for Jarrett to play through that injury and be effective for the Cavs.”

Before being sidelined, Allen had been playing at a high level in the 2024 postseason. Across four appearances against the Magic, he averaged 17.0 points and 13.8 rebounds per game while shooting 67.6 percent from the field.

The 26-year-old’s availability issues in the playoffs cast a shadow on the fact that he appeared in 77 of a possible 82 games in the regular season.

Later in the playoffs, fellow big man Evan Mobley started to shine in Allen’s absence, specifically against the Celtics. During Cleveland’s series against Boston, Mobley turned his aggression up a notch and averaged 21.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 62.7 percent from the field.

Mobley’s play against the Celtics was a bright spot for the Cavs, and that’ll be something to keep in mind as Cleveland evaluates Allen’s future. Some changes could be on the table for the organization this offseason as it looks to get closer to title contention.

However, if Fedor’s reporting is any indication, the idea that Allen didn’t try hard enough to return to action may be something that folks should let go of — and perhaps shouldn’t be something that plays a role in his future.

Allen is currently under contract through the 2025-26 season, meaning his deal carries two more years of club control.

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