How Cedi Osman can have more impact on-ball for the Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman handles the ball. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman handles the ball. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Here, we’ll examine how Cedi Osman can have more of an on-ball impact for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Three years into his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, wing Cedi Osman has solidified himself as a part of their core. Osman logged 32.2 minutes per game in 2018-19, 29.4 minutes per game in 2019-20, and was locked up to a four-year contract extension in October.

Many may not consider Osman a key part of the Cavaliers’ rebuilding core, though, and for good reason. Osman’s years with significant playing time as a starter include fairly inconsistent scoring, historically bad defense, and two seasons of the Cavaliers being a bottom five team.

Granted, there has been growth for him, on the plus side, and Osman can use next season to help the Cavaliers in their efforts. Osman is a high energy player that can make big plays, and does make his presence felt in the open floor following outlet passes from Kevin Love and/or Larry Nance Jr. after run-outs.

That said, in settled offense, Osman’s on-ball play specifically is an area he’ll need to make improvements that can help contribute to more wins for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Again on a positive note, Osman shot 38.3 percent from three-point land this past year, which was the highest thus far of his three seasons. Furthermore, the Cavs’ usual starting forward excelled by hitting 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts from the corner, per Basketball Reference.

Aside from primarily catch-and-shoots, though, Osman also uses his high energy to finish inside at times. He has good cutting feel, but the issue last season often involved Osman not being nearly as active on the move, and he seemed to disappear throughout some stretches.

Albeit his growth as a perimeter shooter was encouraging, but Osman again needs to show more impact on-ball otherwise to counter hard closeouts going forward. More touch on pull-ups for him and on floaters comes to mind in that realm, for instance.

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Nonetheless, running down Cedi’s stats reminded me of a player Cleveland Cavaliers fans are familiar with, in Harrison Barnes.

In 2019-20 with the Sacramento Kings, who are set to participate in Orlando, Barnes has shot 38.3 percent from three-point land, 34.1 percent from the corner, and 69.0 percent from inside three feet.

With greater speed than Barnes, Cedi can improve the Harrison Barnes model. By flying down the floor and positioning himself in the corner, Cedi sets himself up to score efficiently.

Osman can shoot his efficient corner triple or slash quickly to find a floater or layup. Now does Osman have nearly the finishing touch of Barnes inside the arc/in the mid-range?

No, but he is quicker, and for him to have more of an impact and have more playmaking potential, he’ll need to attack off-the-bounce more and show he can change speeds out of the corner to make more plays in settled offense.

That’d be to the benefit of pieces such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Darius Garland, and in instances on the floor together, Kevin Porter Jr.

Osman has been tasked with a large role in past years, and moving forward, though, a more simplified offensive role for him may be the better approach for Cleveland.

Although as KJG’s Amadou Sow highlighted, as potentially a bench point forward type player in the near future, that could enable Osman to be more active and in-rhythm on-ball, especially against reserves for stretches as a playmaker.

Next. Adding a floater would help round out Larry Nance Jr.'s offensive game. dark

Perhaps that’s for the best, but if Osman can improve inside the arc off-the-bounce via floaters/pull-ups, it’d pay dividends for him as a perimeter shooter for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and feasibly a ball-mover.