Over the years, Cedi Osman has made his imprint for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has eventually been one of the squad’s notable bench contributors in recent seasons.
Osman was a regular starter for the Cavaliers in his second and third campaigns, and for the past three years, has been mostly in a bench role. There’s been some mixed results for Osman over that time, with him having struggles in 2020-21, but in the past two seasons, he’s largely bounced back for Cleveland, when the opportunities have presented themselves regularly.
This past season, Osman’s role was reduced a bit, fairness, and there was minutes variance, as there had been in recent prior years as well. Despite that, he did connect on 37.2 percent of his three-point attempts, and had 8.7 points per outing in an average of 20.2 minutes, which was decent for his role.
Osman’s opportunities did again vary with others involved in the wing rotation for Cleveland, and that affected him to some degree, and with his deal being non-guaranteed for next season, it’s not a certainty he’ll be back.
That being said, Osman has still demonstrated he can give this Cleveland team a lift off the bench, and as an energy guy who can get hot in his minutes, he still value for this Wine and Gold team.
Along those lines, the Cavaliers recently expressed how he’s done that in their #CavsPlayerWeek spotlight, courtesy of Cavs.com’s Joe Gabriele, and he noted how Osman has now been Cleveland’s longest tenured player.
As the Cavs highlighted, Osman has been an energy contributor for years.
Osman has long been a fan favorite, as Gabriele emphasized in his piece, and durability has long been one of Osman’s strengths as well, which seems to have gone somewhat overlooked over the course of his time with Cleveland. He hasn’t started much in the past couple of seasons, but he’s been available for the vast majority of contests for Cleveland, as Gabriele demonstrated.
"“In his six years, despite his frenetic playing style, Cedi has been a steady presence. He’s never appeared in less than 59 games in a season, appearing in 77 contests last year. And after starting in all but one game during his second and third seasons in the league, Osman’s started just five over the last two seasons.”"
Osman’s opportunities did have variance this past season and in the last few seasons, though, and while he has been streaky, to some degree, in that time, Gabriele did also mention how Osman has often given Cleveland a spark. He’s a player that didn’t have chances in some other instances to establish a rhythm, either, so his splits were decent, factoring in that as well when one reads Gabriele’s comments below.
"“Overall, Cedi notched double-figures in 30 games this year, topping the 20-point plateau on six occasions – averaging 8.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 75 appearances off the bench.Osman was also one of the most efficient reserves in the league this season. Only New York’s Immanuel Quickley and OKC’s Isaiah Joe had a better +/- number than Osman’s +204.The Cavaliers energy guy drilled at least four triples in nine games last year. He posted a 20-point fourth quarter in a lopsided home win over Utah and went 8-of-10 from the floor in a blowout win against Atlanta.”"
Osman didn’t have the same success as it pertained to efficiency in Cleveland’s underwhelming first round playoff series against the New York Knicks as opposed to the regular season, as Gabriele would go on to mention. Granted, he wasn’t the only one.
On a number of occasions last season and in the last few years, however, Osman has made his presence felt in stretches for the Cavaliers, and for his potential to give the team bench pop, he’s a player Cleveland should keep around for next season. His deal is non-guaranteed currently, and Cleveland will have a decision to make there involving his $6.7 million contract for 2023-24.
Now, from there, he could still end up being a player that’s eventually an expiring trade piece for the offseason or during next season, but at least heading into next season, it’d behoove the Cavaliers to retain Osman.
Time will tell with what transpires on the Osman front. All things considered, though, with the energy he can still provide, and with him being beloved in the locker room, I’d prefer the Cavs keep the 28-year-old Macedonian native around. And he could seemingly be a player Cleveland could look to extend via team-friendly deal eventually.