He’s been through the ringer at times over the course of his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he’s largely been a streaky player. In recent seasons, though, Cedi Osman has given Cleveland a lift in his minutes off the bench on plenty of occasions.
Last season, Osman’s overall splits, usage and minutes-share were down a bit, but in his 20.1 minutes per contest, he did connect on 37.2 percent of his three-point shot attempts in the regular season. With the minutes variance Osman had to deal with at various points in the season, his performance for the most part was pretty respectable.
That said, with Osman being a player mentioned in trade rumors in recent seasons, including this past season it appeared, it did seem to be a possibility that his deal for next season might not end up being guaranteed.
Despite those prior trade rumors, and the deal being potentially non-guaranteed, Cleveland would ultimately would choose to guarantee his contract. June 29 was the deadline for that decision, and Osman is now set to earn his full guarantee next season of $6.7 million following the Cavaliers’ decision, per a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This was the right call by the Cavs.
Osman is not a guy who should regularly be starting for the Cavaliers at this juncture, and as we touched on, streakiness has been part of the conversation surrounding him over his time with the Wine and Gold.
However, Osman is still a player who can make a difference for Cleveland’s bench, and last season, despite his overall splits being decreased to 8.7 points per outing, he did shoot a respectable clip from deep.
Over the last three seasons in a move to predominantly a bench role, Osman has posted 9.9 points per contest in 22.4 minutes per game. In the last two seasons, he’s hit 37.2 and 35.7 percent from three, in which he’s settled in more after hitting only 30.6 percent from deep in 2020-21, when he transitioned to that bench role.
Osman does have his flaws, though, and those are well known. Defensively, he’s still somewhat limited on the perimeter, which can factor into minutes variance for him, and offensively, his shooting woes at times and overzealous on-ball play on occasion can be detrimental in some matchups.
On the plus side, he is a player who is capable of getting hot in bench minutes, is an underappreciated ball-mover that can create open looks for his teammates for stretches as a connective passer, and his team defense has gotten better.
In addition, Osman is an adept cutter off-ball, and his hustle and urgency after closeouts has led to him cashing in on transition situations. There’s been countless energy plays from him in recent seasons that have helped ignite the Cavaliers for stretches, and next season, one could expect to see those, too.
This move had to have been about Osman’s locker room presence as well, to some degree. Regardless of what his minutes-share has been, Osman has always been an exemplary teammate over the course of his time with the Cavs, and he’s currently the longest-tenured Cavalier. He’s spent his all of his six career seasons with the Cavaliers, and the 2023-24 campaign would make that seven.
Granted, Osman could potentially be a candidate to be traded at some point, with him set to be on an expiring deal, at least for now, and that’s something to keep in mind. Still, he’s been a player who has been a nice rotational piece for Cleveland, and while the Cavaliers do have to bolster their wing depth and ideally solidify their starting 3 situation, it’s still meaningful for them to have Osman going into next season (again, for now at minimum).
He didn’t have it going as much in Cleveland’s underwhelming postseason series versus the New York Knicks, but he was hardly the only Cav who underperformed then. And Osman being third in the NBA last season in total plus-minus among bench contributors in the regular season, per NBA.com, did show he can still impact games if given chances.
Time will tell, but Cleveland and Osman, who turned 28 in April, maybe coming to an agreement on a reasonable contract extension at some point in the near future could be sensible for both sides.