Cavs: It’s clear the pressure’s on Cedi Osman early on in 2021-22

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) /

Cedi Osman, as probably many Cleveland Cavaliers fans would attest, didn’t have a year to remember in 2020-21. Osman did start off the season well, in fairness, and I give him his share of credit for the playmaking help he provided in mostly a rotational role, though.

On that subject, as a positive, he did have a career-best 4.1 assists per-36 minutes, along with a career-high assist rate of 17.3 percent.

His passing feel/timing for hitting shooters on the perimeter in pick-and-roll operation and from hitting extra passes aided the Cavaliers, and that was a plus. He did make some quality feeds to rollers/cutters as well, and I don’t discount that.

Now, some of the higher playmaking splits last season did have some to do with injuries to the likes of Darius Garland and then to some degree, Collin Sexton, at times, sure. Albeit I do believe that Osman we could see again get some de facto rotational point forward opportunities, given how he helped Cleveland last season when doing so off the bench, in particular.

Nonetheless, the key issue with Osman, aside from defensive limitations on-ball and off-ball lapses still at times, was the shooting inconsistencies last season. Osman hit a career-low 30.6 percent of his three-point attempts, and a career-low 45.8 percent from two-point range.

Frankly, at times, it was difficult for Cleveland to have him out there, even in bench spurts, given the issues he had with his shooting.

And with that being the case last season after a year prior where he did hit his career-high 38.3 percent from three, primarily via catch-and-shoots, and with others in the mix, it’s apparent that the pressure is on Cedi early on in 2021-22. That’s if he’s still around that is.

The pressure’s on Osman early on next season, provided he’s still with the Cavs.

Osman, to reiterate, had his struggles last season for Cleveland. He did have a fairly respectable 10.4 points per outing predominantly as a bench contributor, but him having done so on an effective field goal percentage of 45.8 percent was underwhelming.

Now, as we demonstrated, the rotational playmaking from Osman was a positive in regards to his play from Year 4, and that to me/de facto bench 1 capabilities for spurts is the key selling point for him for next season.

Unfortunately for Cedi though, it’s hard to see that being the case consistently from here, objectively. For Osman, it’s clear that early on next season, provided he does get some rotational playing time, which could still be the case, he needs to be viable as a shooter from the perimeter to help his case from here.

Granted, it’s difficult to exactly foresee what the kind of minutes-share will be for Osman early on next season. Isaac Okoro looks set for starting minutes again, and from a rotational standpoint, the likes of Taurean Prince could still factor into things, to go with Dylan Windler, if he’s mostly healthy.

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Cleveland could seemingly end up selecting another wing/combo forward in the 2021 NBA Draft such as Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner and/or perhaps Jalen Johnson, even, too, so that’d be another player in the fold, I’d imagine in that way.

Now, Barnes could be a viable primary playmaker in bench minutes, however, albeit either way, I’m sure Osman could get some run with Windler at the 2 and perhaps Prince at the 4 some, but Larry Nance Jr., if healthy, and Dean Wade will get their share of PT too. So we’d have to see there, not even with Kevin Love in mind.

Along with those others/the potential draft picks feasibly affecting Osman’s possible minutes-share, Osman and Prince, while on the subject, was a key player mentioned in trade rumors near the 2021 deadline.

Cleveland of course didn’t end up moving either, and Prince had injury troubles last season, but with both, they could perhaps be dealt before next season, as Prince is set to be expiring and Osman could maybe be a piece in a potential trade package.

And Cedi, for what it’s worth, could maybe benefit from a change of scenery; he has been a viable shooter in prior years and still is capable at times. The rotational playmaking could be of use for other possible suitors, too, and Osman is an instinctive cutter.

In any case, Osman still could be back at the start of next season and/or possibly still stick around with the Cavaliers. But as we’ve alluded to, it’s clear that early on in 2021-22, if he’s not traded, the pressure is still seemingly on Cedi to be a viable shooter again and prove to be a more consistent player game-to-game off the bench.

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We’ll have to see if he can live up to that, though and/or if he’ll have those opportunities. Osman at one point ended up having five straight DNPs last season due to his inconsistencies it appeared.