The Cleveland Cavaliers have known they need a starting small forward for a long time. They keep trying to address it, drafting Dylan Windler and Isaac Okoro and trading for Caris LeVert, but so far they haven’t found the right fit. The lack of a fifth starter hurt them in their painful five-game exit in the NBA Playoffs this season, and it’s their biggest offseason problem.
There are certainly external options to find that fifth starter, but they range from expensive to impractical to insane. If they need to, the Cavs might just head into next season without a new option on the team. In that case, they will need to figure out who the best option to start at small forward is from the current roster.
Here are the top 5 options ranked in order of how good of an option they are. Apologies to Lamar Stevens, Dylan Windler and Sam Merrill, none of whom made the cut for the Top 5.
Option No. 5: Cedi Osman
Cedi Osman doesn’t do any one thing spectacularly well. He isn’t an elite movement shooter, he isn’t a pogo stick athlete, he isn’t a lockdown defender or weakside shot-blocker or stela-generating aficionado. Instead, Osman is simply solid at everything on a basketball court.
That has kept him on the fringes of the Cleveland rotation the past two seasons, occasionally drifting outside of it but almost always finding minutes because of his lack of major weaknesses. The Cavs need more, however, and at this point in his career it’s clear that Osman doesn’t have more to give.