Cavs: Cedi Osman’s role is marginalized with playmaking reinforcements

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman looks to make a play. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman looks to make a play. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova passes the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

How Delly and Love’s returns for the Cavs potentially affect Osman’s role

Dellavedova making his debut last week after not having played this regular season because of concussion complications and then working his way back from an appendectomy has helped Cleveland in the past four games.

Delly, while a complete non-shooting presence at this juncture, has given Darius Garland and Cleveland a lift from a reserve playmaking standpoint. He’s had five assists in each of his three games active thus far in 50 minutes played, and is yet to turn it over. He then followed that up by having seven assists in 20 minutes in Cleveland’s blowout W over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (albeit sans Shai Gilgeous-Alexander).

His feel/passing timing has helped open up great opportunities for Collin Sexton, a bit for Dean Wade/Isaac Okoro and others. And even with Delly having nine total points on just three-of-18 shooting, I’d expect him to still get reserve burn with his veteran stabilizing presence/outstanding passing vision and team defensive feel.

Additionally, as we alluded to, Love, although some turnovers will happen, is a guy that definitely aids Cleveland from a secondary playmaking perspective. And I would think some of the turnover stuff with him will clear up to an extent after he works off some rust.

Love has missed most of this season due to a right calf injury/complications/soreness involved, albeit his minutes-share has been gradually increasing since making another return after missing nine games after a brief return in two outings post-All-Star.

We’ve seen Cleveland run some offense through Love already, too, and I’d expect that to continue; he had a solid 3.2 assists per outing last season.

Okay, so what’s the impact on Osman, then?

Osman, although he’s a rotational wing, that, in theory, is out there when he’s given run to space the floor/hit open looks, has been a nice tertiary playmaking presence, and has been in his prior two seasons to some degree.

However, with the likes of Dellavedova and Love back in the fold, the playmaking, which has been the silver lining largely for Cedi this season, doesn’t seem as needed in reserve minutes.

Early in the season, we saw Osman and even Damyean Dotson serve as de facto primary playmakers when Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, both a bit even, and both did a nice job I thought. That sort of thing isn’t really needed anymore, though, and likely even for Dotson.

Plus, in relation to the wing rotation, Okoro is starting to figure things out more offensively, and Prince (shoulder, ankle) has been getting his legs/seemingly his rhythm back more as a scorer, so Osman looks hard-pressed for minutes. Dylan Windler, when he’s back from knee soreness, could maybe factor into that conversation as well, although we’ve seen him, Cedi and Prince get some real burn together.

Nonetheless, with those playmaking reinforcements back for Cleveland, Osman’s role as even a secondary playmaking presence more so is likely marginalized regarding minutes-share/overall impact.

Considering that element with Delly/Love, Osman’s defensive limitations on-ball when needed against starting wings, and with him having trouble hitting water when falling out of the boat as a shooter for an extended stretch, we could see more DNPs to come for him. Let’s not dismiss two-way Lamar Stevens’ defensive impact in his burn, either.