Cavs: Cedi Osman’s outlook is cloudier with Lauri Markkanen in fold

Last season was not one to write home about for Cedi Osman. It was not all on him necessarily, as Osman was shifted to mostly a bench role for the Cleveland Cavaliers with the arrival of Isaac Okoro, and at times throughout the season, he had to fill in as even a de facto primary playmaking presence.

Osman having a career-best 4.1 assists per-36 minutes in 2020-21 was a positive, in that realm, and I do acknowledge that he is a quality passer for Cleveland. That’s in a ball movement/secondaary playmaking way, in particular, and that’s nice to know from a rotational perspective.

Nonetheless, even while he is not a player that the Cavaliers have really been able to rely on semi-regularly to create his own offense in the past two seasons, he has had his moments as a catch-and-shoot player. I do give Osman some credit from a pull-up standpoint here and there, too, and he did 38.3 percent of his 4.9 three-point attempts per game in 2019-20.

He has historically been a streaky shooter though, objectively, and even in the season prior, there were too many instances when it seemed as if Osman disappeared for stretches on offense. And last season, regardless of the circumstances, him having hit only 30.6 percent from three was disappointing.

Factoring in that, and him being a player that’s been mentioned in trade rumors and seemingly being a potential trade candidate from here, even while nothing has materialized, his role looks to be less clear looking onward.

That did seem that way heading into next season anyway, but with the arrival of Lauri Markkanen via sign-and-trade from the Chicago Bulls, that adds to the uncertainty as well.

Osman’s role is cloudier for the Cavs with Markkanen in the fold.

Osman did have a nice last five or so games of last season for Cleveland, but that was when the club was especially injury-riddled, and because of his shooting woes, he had five straight DNPs at one point later on last season.

Now, Osman has shown that he can be a valuable rotational shooter for the Cavs still, he’s a meaningful ball-mover, and is a good cutter that is at his best in the open floor.

If Osman is not on as a shooter early on next season though, with Okoro as a driver/defensive piece in the fold, whether or not Dylan Windler is viable, with Markkanen being the bench’s go-to shooter, it leads to more uncertainty for Cedi.

Both Osman and Markkanen, even with Markkanen’s scoring abilities, are not guys that are going to aid Cleveland defensively, and if Osman has stretches of games where he’s off, I’d expect less minutes with him on with Markkanen.

Of course, others will be on with them; I’d just think with the arrival of Markkanen, who can play at the 5 at times, and with Kevin Love on occasion too, having an uber-inconsistent Osman in there with Lauri would be questionable.

That’s where I’d imagine Windler, if he can get into a rhythm early on next season, could be in-play, and as a defensive specialist that has shown solid cutting and good finishing in Lamar Stevens could again get some of those minutes. Stevens is non-guaranteed from here, however, his defensive prowess is real, and he can fill in some at the 4, too.

Perhaps Cleveland ends up adding a rotational wing such as Garrison Mathews or James Ennis III, from there.

The gyst is, with the shooting and scoring abilities of Markkanen, and what would be compounded if another wing were to be signed, Osman’s outlook would become even less certain within Cleveland’s rotation, in my opinion. He again was previously mentioned in trade rumors, and could seemingly be moved at some point as part of a package, anyhow.

Maybe he can turn things around as compared to last season, sure, but I’m not exactly confident of that.

And with Markkanen in tow, with Evan Mobley at the 5 some, for instance, I’d think Stevens would have more of a selling point, conversely, with his defensive versatility and driving/finishing. We’ll again see regarding another potential wing/how that could potentially cut into Osman’s possible minutes, too.