Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Cedi Osman’s 2019-20 season thus far

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman talks with Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cedi Osman has been somewhat underwhelming for the Cleveland Cavaliers thus far in the 2019-20 season. Here, we’ll grade the third-year wing’s play on both ends.

It’s evident that the Cleveland Cavaliers are still in the fairly early stages of their full-rebuild.

What has been nice in the last two seasons, though, is that the rebuilding focus has allowed for pieces such as Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman to get plenty of meaningful minutes.

In this 2019-20 season which is currently on hiatus until further notice due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, that’s included a healthy minutes-share for rookies in Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., too, and Porter has filled in for Osman often as his primary backup at the small forward spot.

That’s not necessarily ideal, as KPJ is more suited to play the 2 spot at 6-foot-4, but it’s been productive for Porter to get out there on the floor for his development, and he’s flashed big-time potential as a perimeter player.

So how has Osman looked in his third season to this point, firstly on the offensive end?

It’s been a mixed bag, realistically.

Looking at Osman’s offensive play

Osman on the offensive end to this point has been often a catch-and-shoot contributor. In that role on the perimeter, he’s done a pretty nice job.

On the season, Osman’s knocked down 38.3 percent of his three-point shot attempts, and on catch-and-shoot triples, he’s hit 38.8 percent on a 41.2 percent frequency, per’s shot tracking data.

light. Related Story. Revisiting Cedi Osman's three best games thus far of 2019-20

That’s been good to see for the 25-year-old wing, who has done an admirable job for most of the season hitting shots off-the-catch after deliveries from the likes of pieces such as Darius Garland, Kevin Love, Sexton and Larry Nance Jr.

What has been the down side with Osman, though, has been him showing a pretty low ceiling in terms of scoring.

Now, I understand Love has been mostly healthy and pieces such as Garland and KPJ have played directly into it, but Osman having just 11.0 points per outing and seemingly being an after-thought on way too many occasions throughout 2019-20 has made him starting at the 3 on most occasions, a premium position in today’s league, something I wouldn’t expect to be the case next season.

Osman’s a solid ball-mover with above average passing instincts, as evidenced by him having a halfway decent 2.4 assists per outing, but at times still, in large part to perhaps get himself in more of a rhythm, he’ll try to do too much in pick-and-roll situations when the matchups aren’t really favorable and that leads to inefficient possessions.

Osman does have the ability to hit pull-ups at times in the mid-range area, and I would’ve liked to have seen him used more earlier on as an off-screen pull-up man, but Osman has a tendency to drive too hard to the rack too often instead of using that pull-up acumen.

His handle is nowhere near that of Porter, really, either.

Plus, I wouldn’t expect him to have nearly the pull-up and/or real sharpshooting ability of Dylan Windler, who has not appeared at all this season due to a stress reaction in his left leg, and if he can get healthier, is a finisher with better touch near the rim than Osman, who rushes looks too much.

It is feasible to see Porter man the starting 3 more so next season, or at least dip more into his Osman’s minutes-share, and just as’s Chris Fedor essentially touched on, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised if Windler overtook Osman’s starting 3 role at some point this season had he gotten healthy. In some instances going forward, though, I could see the Cavs playing Osman, KPJ and Windler in the same lineups.

Moreover, to me, while the catch-and-shoot perimeter hit rate is a positive sign for Cedi and he is productive as a cutter and is a capable pull-up shooter, his ability to create separation is inconsistent at best still.

Going forward, I’d expect him, mainly due to a low ceiling (his season high is 22 points) and him being hot and cold as a finisher inside the paint, to be coming off the bench more. Cleveland needs more pop on-ball when it comes to the starting 3 position, which factors into the below offensive grade thus far in 2019-20 for Osman.

Osman’s offensive grade thus far in 2019-20: B-

So next up, we’ll jump to Osman’s defensive play thus far this season.