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Cavs extend Jarrett Allen a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent

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The plan, though, is for him to be back.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have extended Jarrett Allen a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent when free agency opens next month. The offer, were he to sign it, would pay him $7.7 million next season.

Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor first reported the news and it was confirmed by Fear the Sword independently with two league sources. Per one source, this was always going to be the move and, by all expectations, is the first step in bringing Allen back to Cleveland. Dating back to when the Cavs acquired Allen as part of the James Harden trade last fall, the plan was to make him part of the Cavs’ core.

The qualifying offer is below what Allen’s market value is, so it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll ultimately sign that offer. There are teams that could pursue him in free agency. Notably, the Raptors, Hornets and Mavericks all have cap space and could be in the market for a center. The Cavs, though, can match any offer and are expected to make a push to re-sign him before he can sign a deal with another team. The deal Clint Capela is currently signed to (five years, $90 million for an $18 million per year average value) is likely a rough estimate for what Allen will sign this summer.

Cleveland had until Aug. 1 to extend Allen the qualifying offer.