Will Cedi Osman have a breakout year this season?

Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Can Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Cedi Osman make the jump in his second season?

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Kaelen Jones, 23-year-old shooting Cedi Osman discusses his expectations for his upcoming season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and there’s no doubt he’s ready “to take more responsibility” with LeBron James gone.

"“I’m ready for that,” Osman said, confidently. “I was working for that. Now I’m going to have a chance to show people what I’m capable of.”"

After averaging 20.0 points per game in Las Vegas Summer League, 22.0 points per game in the VTG Supercup and 18.5 points per game in the World Cup Qualifiers this offseason, it’s clear that Osman is ready to take on a larger playmaking role for the ball club.

At 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, Osman is a ball of energy when he’s on the floor, giving his all on both ends and making a definitive impact that can’t be ignored.

On offense, he’s a player that’s grown to love the three-point shot, which he knocks down efficiently and can hit while spotting up or off-the-bounce.

Not an advanced ball-handler, Osman is still capable of playing point-forward because he has a tight handle, solid court vision and can whip fireball passes in-between defenders. He’s also, of course, a threat to attack the rim on the drive.

Defensively, he’s not a lockdown player yet but he gets up into players bodies and hounds them in ways few players even attempt in today’s game. He’s a solid athlete and has a lengthy wingspan, so he’s also able to guard up to three or four positions.

A team player who has bought into the culture and mentality of a champion, one thing that can be certain about Osman, no matter his role, is that he’ll give his all when he’s on the court.

That’s Osman’s game in a nutshell and with James gone, a player with his two-way impact will he needed next season and beyond.

It’s this “great potential” as Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue would call it at Media Day, that has him being looked at as a potential starter and cornerstone by Cavs general manager Koby Altman.

Per NBA. com’s Joe Gabriele:

"I really think that Cedi Osman has had a monster summer. Playing overseas. Working on his body. He’s playing with a level of confidence – and there’s a void at that position right now that we need to fill. We like dynamic wings that can play both sides of the ball, have enthusiasm, excitement and play hard. And Cedi fits the bill on all those things.So we’re excited to see him step up and have a lot more minutes this year and contribute to winning."

More from Altman:

"You know — what will it be like for Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman to try to close out a fourth quarter together? That’s big for their development. Not just off-the-floor stuff, in terms of shooting and working on their game. We’re talking about in-game development and playing meaningful games.We’re ready to put them out there in that atmosphere with the crowd going nuts — trying to win. And to us, that’s going to be huge for their development."

Should Osman win the starting small forward spot, it might not be wise to expect him to average 20.0 points per game buyback he’ll certainly be averaging more than 3.9 points per game, as he did as a rookie last season.

Further, his defensive ability and feel for the game will keep him on the floor in the clutch.

Osman has become something of a cult hero for the people of Cleveland. His energy is infectious and his love for the game, innocence and desire to be great are all authentic, making him an easy player to root for.

It makes you want him to stay in Cleveland.

Should he breakout this season, the Cavs could truly make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs, this year and beyond.

Outside of Collin Sexton and Billy Preston, the Cavs don’t have a player on the roster with his two-way potential. Unlike Sexton and Preston, Osman has already went through the trials of his rookie season.

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With increased confidence, opportunity and continuing to hone his craft by working with the best players in the world, Osman really could be a special player.