Report: Cavs to Give Cedi Osman Opportunity to Start This Season

Cedi Osman Cavs

Replacing LeBron James will be an impossible task for the Cleveland Cavaliers, yet they have no choice other than to find the best possible replacement. One of the strongest candidates to try and fill that gaping hole is second-year forward Cedi Osman, who offered some hints of his potential during his rookie campaign.

Joe Vardon of offered his opinion about what Osman’s status should be for the 2018-19 season, which begins on Sept. 25 with the start of the Cavaliers’ training camp:

“Osman will surely be a rotation player with a chance to start.”

The potential that Osman offers can’t really be seen in his statistics from last season, which amounted to averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 61 contests. He spent a good deal of March laid up because of injury and then saw minimal action after a miserable late-season performance.

However, Vardon also points out the assets that Osman brings to the court:

“Osman, like James, is 6-8, and he’s best suited as a wing. He’s what they call a ‘high energy’ player, which typically means defender, score in transition, dives for loose balls, etc.”

That approach to the game endeared Osman to James, who took the rookie under his wing. That invaluable tutoring has the potential to be beneficial in the year ahead. Osman has continued his development during the offseason, seeing action in two games during Las Vegas Summer League and playing for the Turkish national team in World Cup qualifying competition.

The increased playing time that Osman will see this year will undoubtedly boost his statistical numbers, though they still won’t come close to the nightly contributions of James, who averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game last year.

Of course, the reality is that the Cavaliers are in a new era, with rebuilding the team into another powerhouse unit the ultimate goal. That will take plenty of time, which takes the immediate pressure off Osman and his teammates and allows them to focus on simply reaching the playoffs this year rather than vying for another berth in the NBA Finals.

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