Pros of the Cavs potentially moving on from Osman
Let’s get this out of the way. Cedi Osman is obviously not the player he used to be. He is not as impactful as he has been in recent years. He arguably is not as competent of a defender that he has been in seasons prior, but that’s fine. He’s still a solid rotation piece and versus bench players, that’s not as much of a concern.
$6.7 million is a good portion of money. Waiving Osman could mean picking up a new player in free agency. Also, if the Cavaliers were to trade Osman, that could also be a viable option. Let’s say another NBA team wanted to cut costs. Trading a player with a similar contract to the Cavs for Osman would save them a good amount of money, given his deal structure for next year.
For example, Gary Payton II makes $8.7 million next season for the Golden State Warriors. If Golden State were to cut costs, then maybe a trade involving Osman and the Cavs’ 2023 second-rounder (via the Warriors) could entice Golden State.
Another player could be Boston’s Payton Pritchard. It seems that Pritchard could be on the move, as Boston already has a good amount of point guards on their roster and he’s rumored to be in favor of being dealt.
If Osman could be dealt for Pritchard and salary filler such as Mike Muscala, then that would save Boston money, and give Cleveland a better backup point guard. If Boston were to want to extend Jaylen Brown and give him the supermax contract that would pay him $66 million in the last year of that deal, then trading for Osman could be a smart idea.
Chances are, the Cavaliers will be over the salary cap next season. That’s in the event Caris LeVert were to leave in free agency. If LeVert is back in Cleveland, then the Cavs would have a bigger cap sheet. Not to mention, Darius Garland’s max contract begins next season at $33.5 million. Osman might have to leave if Koby Altman wants to have his deal off the books.
There is reason to believe that Osman will be back in Cleveland, but there is also a reason to think that he’ll find another team next season. Also, if the Cavs were to draft a wing in the offseason, potentially plan to sign for one, or trade for one (which would seem to be a good possibility), then that’d reduce the need for Osman.
Dean Wade, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens, and Caris LeVert are all capable wings that could get more minutes than Osman. Even though the wing position isn’t necessarily super talented in Cleveland, it still has a bit of a logjam, which could hurt Osman’s playing time.