Allen, 21, averaged 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 61 percent shooting across five summer league games, registering a 30-point game in the process and multiple double-doubles. Allen helped lead the Nets all the way to the semi-finals.
Throughout summer league, Allen constantly dealt with questions about why he was playing after having established himself as a starter on a playoff team last season. Allen told James Herbert of CBS Sports, “I don’t expect everybody to know why I’m playing here. Everybody has a different perspective. But I think inside the organization we know why.”
Brooklyn is an organization that prides itself on internal development of its players. Despite moving towards his third season, Allen is still just 21-years old and summer league serves as yet another opportunity to improve as a player. In fact, three members of the first team, are older than Allen
In reference to the Nets commitment to player development and the importance they put on each summer, Allen told CBS Sports, “The Nets just do stuff differently. Every player, every past player, you just hear, at least in the Sean Marks era, that they’ve never been a part of a team or a front office that does it like that.”
After an earlier Nets summer league victory, Allen expressed that part of the reason he was in summer league was to lead the young guys and help them with the transition to the NBA game, specifically Nic Claxton.
Regarding his interest in showing his teammates the ropes, Allen told Herbert, “I feel like I had a pretty good season last year. I have a lot to show ‘em. I have a lot of knowledge in my mind that I can share with them.”
Allen is coming off of a breakout season where he started all 80 games that he played in, plus five playoff games, averaging 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in just 26.2 minutes per game. In his first two NBA seasons, Allen started in 111/152 of the games the Nets have played.
With Allen, his athleticism, shot blocking, and overall skill level should not be questioned. For him, his development is very much about how his body continues to develop. Already this summer, Allen has made major gains and was listed at 246 pounds, 9 pounds above where he was at the end of last season.
Last season, especially in the playoffs, the Nets and Allen struggled to contain big bodied centers like Joel Embiid, Enes Kanter, and Jusuf Nurkic. The offseason addition of DeAndre Jordan, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, should help the Nets in those matchups going forward, but Allen bulking up will help him as well in his attempt to retain the starting center role next season.
Next up for Allen? He has been invited to join Team USA’s Select Team for training camp in Las Vegas later this summer. At just 21-years old, Allen is well on his way to becoming the All-Star caliber player that teammate Spencer Dinwiddie and many in the organization believe he will eventually become.