Cavaliers

Getting to know the newest Cleveland Cavalier, Cedi Osman

After the Cleveland Cavaliers supposedly chose Cedi Osman over signing veteran Jamal Crawford last weekend, eurohoop.net’s Nikos Varlas broke the news on Wednesday that Osman had signed a three-year, $8.5 million fully guaranteed deal to join the wine and gold. He met with the Cavs in Las Vegas, where the team is currently playing in the NBA Summer League but is back in Istanbul, Turkey now, playing with his national team. Coming to the NBA for the first time, many NBA fans, specifically Cavs fans, don’t know much about Osman. Let’s get to know the newest Cavalier:

First and foremost, although many people would pronounce Cedi like it being with an “S”, how do you pronounce his name?

Many people pronounce it incorrectly, but the correct way to pronounce Osman’s first name is Jed-Dee.

Not like the Star Wars Jedi, but Jed-Dee.

Was he drafted by the Cavs, or how did they get his rights?

He was not drafted by Cleveland but was traded to the Cavs in a draft-night deal with the Timberwolves after Minnesota selected him with the No. 31 pick in 2015 in exchange for Tyus Jones.

Has he played anywhere but the Euroleague?

Osman has only played in the Euroleague and Turkish League.

What will he bring to the Cavs?

Although he has no NBA experience, Osman brings some much-needed youth and athleticism to the Cavaliers’ bench. At just 22 years old, he makes the bench unit younger. After the way the way Cleveland’s reserves performed against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, it was obvious that they needed a change. The two that were most apparent were that the Cavs bench must get younger and more athletic, which is waht Osman provides.

Somewhat of a shooter who is athletic enough to do well in transition, Osman could add yet another threat to the Cavs’ break. With LeBron as one of his idols, it could be fun to see him, Kyrie, and LeBron run in transition.

Is he a shooter or more of a pick-and-roll-type player?

He is a good three-and-D player. Although his pick-and-roll ability offensively is not really known, Osman’s athletic ability makes it seem that he can be both a shooter and a player who can play well in the pick-and-roll on offense.

In the 2016-17 season, he averaged 10.2 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 37 percent from beyond the arc. Now that he’s with the Cavs, Osman will be expected to improve his jumper, especially from long distance.

Will he be able to guard some of the opponents’ best players?

At 6-foot-8, Osman was known throughout the EuroLeague for his defense and ability to lockdown opponents. While the NBA is much different, with much more talent, he could be a legitimate defender off the bench for the Cavs. He may not be able to lockdown some of the league’s best, but the newest Cav should be able to be counted on on the defensive end of the floor.

Throughout his time in the EuroLeague, he’s been a solid pick-and-roll defender. In today’s NBA game, that is big, which could turn into very good things for Osman. With his height and athletic ability, he could possibly be able to switch onto smaller guards.

Back when the Cavs had a GM, David Griffin had positive words for Osman while talking to Fear The Sword’s David Zavac.

“Really excited about Cedi. He’s about all the right things,” he said. “He’s a Tristan Thompson of a swingman mold. He’s not that athletic [compared to Thompson]. He’s not that comparatively unguardable [to Goran Dragic]. But he’s going to defend and make open jump shots and knows how to play and he’s got size.”

What are some of his biggest weaknesses?

Although he’s athletic and good at defending the pick-and-roll, off-ball screens and movement could potentially be an issue. While he may do fine at defending both, there isn’t much of those in the EuroLeague, so he has little experience. Keep in mind, the Warriors love setting off-ball screens and moving away from the ball, so if Osman wants to eventually play against an opponent like Golden State, he will have to learn how to defend it quickly. Luckily for him, he can learn from the greatest basketball player in the world and not be counted on to contribute that much in the regular season while learning the NBA game.

Another weakness is the amount of games he has played—or lack thereof—while in Turkey. The most games Osman has played in a single season is 70, which was his season that just concluded in June. Before that, the most he played was 66 (and then 61, 41, and 34). If the Cavs make the Finals for the fourth straight year next summer, there’s a good chance that Osman will play 95 to 100 games. He will have to be prepared and conditioned for that.

Going from playing in Turkey to playing in the NBA alongside LeBron James is quite a difference, but the 22-year-old may just add the youth and athleticism off the bench that the Cavs badly need.

  • Pat Leonard

    Great stuff, thanks Josh. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of player Cedi matures into. He’s not a future star, but could be a very important piece.

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