NBA insider says it wouldn’t surprise him if Cavs start Cedi Osman or Dean Wade when Darius Garland returns

Cedi Osman

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been cooking while All-Star guard Darius Garland heals from an eye injury he suffered in their season opener versus the Toronto Raptors.

The success that the team has enjoyed over the last three games may end up having an impact on the makeup of the lineup once Garland is able to return to the floor.

According to ESPN’s NBA insider Zach Lowe, he would not be surprised if Dean Wade or Cedi Osman end up in the starting lineup once Garland comes back.

“[Caris] LeVert’s a nice player, and he’s leaning into more of a distributor role,” he wrote. “But he’s a so-so shooter and a below-average defender — not the Cavs’ ideal third wing. He’d work best as their sixth man. They know this. It wouldn’t surprise me if they tried starting Dean Wade or Cedi Osman when Garland returns.”

LeVert has gotten the start in all four of the Cavs’ games so far this season, with three coming at the small forward spot and one coming at the shooting guard position.

As for Wade and Osman, only Wade has registered a start. With that in mind, Osman is averaging 29 minutes of playing time per game while Wade is getting 19.3 minutes per contest.

So far this season, LeVert is putting up 11.5 points, 6.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. While he’s shooting a surprisingly low 28.9 percent from the field, he’s lighting it up from deep with a 47.6 percent shooting clip.

Wade is averaging 9.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-9 and 228 pounds, he’s a solid option for the Cavs when they are looking to roll out a bigger lineup.

When it comes to Osman, who has spent his entire NBA career with the Cavs, he’s had an impressive resurgent season thus far and averaging a career-high 15.5 points per game despite coming off the bench.

His increased scoring can be attributed to his impressive shooting clips. Right now, he’s shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 47.4 precent from deep.

At the end of the day, the fact that the Cavs have a handful of players that arguably deserve the starting small forward spot is a good problem to have. Each player offers the Cavs something different and can be a positive difference-maker on the floor.

While Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff would likely love for someone on his roster to elevate themselves to be the clear starter, it is early enough in the season that these kinds of questions can still be asked.

Most importantly, the Cavs are winning. After losing their season opener, they are now 3-0 in their last three games. Their biggest test of the season will take place on Friday night, when they take the floor in Boston to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

It will be interesting to see how Bickerstaff decides to use the three players in what could possibly be the final game before Garland’s return to the court.

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