Report: Some believe Cavs could use Cedi Osman to net Rudy Gay or Patty Mills alongside 1st-rounder

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Trading Cedi Osman could be the way for the Cleveland Cavaliers to get into the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday.

Along with a possible pursuit of potential free agent Kyle Kuzma, the Cavs could find other ways to add to their roster.

“That doesn’t mean the Cavaliers won’t try to make a trade when the 2023 NBA Draft opens on Thursday evening,” wrote Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid. “Sources across the league have confirmed to Right Down Euclid the multiple reports that Cleveland is looking to find a way to sneak into the back half of the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. A separate source shared that the [Houston] Rockets (20), the [Utah] Jazz (28) and Brooklyn Nets (21, 22) are all viewed as teams that the Cavaliers will speak with on a deal.

“While Cleveland doesn’t have much asset-wise to work with, the same source said that Cedi Osman’s non-guaranteed $6.7 million contract could act as a lynchpin for a possible trade. If the Cavaliers could bring the teams mentioned above to the table, some believe Rudy Gay (Jazz) or Patty Mills (Nets) would be the players coming Cleveland’s way with a pick attached. Of course, trading with Utah would hinge on whether or not Gay picks up his $6.4 million player option next year, but there are options on the table for the Cavaliers.”

Cleveland does not currently hold a first-round pick in the draft, having traded its original selection away to the Indiana Pacers in a 2022 deal for Caris LeVert.

Osman’s future with the Cavs has been a leading topic of discussion for them this offseason, as the organization was reportedly split on what to do with the 28-year-old. Cleveland has until June 29 to fully guarantee his contract for this season and reportedly is leaning that way.

Osman averaged 8.7 points per game last season while making 37.2 percent of his attempts from 3-point range, but his shooting fell off during a disappointing five-game playoff loss to the New York Knicks in the first round.

The forward made just 30.0 percent of his 3-point attempts, leading to speculation that the Cavs would be in pursuit of 3-and-D wings this offseason.

Whether they can grab a player that fits that bill late in the first round of the draft is unclear. The Cavs reportedly have had discussions with the Pacers about trading for one of their later first-round picks (No. 26, which is actually the pick from their earlier deal or No. 29).

Dammarell mentioned Kris Murray of the University of Iowa, Brandin Podziemski of Santa Clara University and Maxwell Lewis of Pepperdine University as possibilities for a pick in the 20s.

Cleveland also may have an interest in Kuzma in free agency. The forward would provide complementary offense to Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland and bolster a lineup that also includes Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

The Cavaliers are looking to build on a 51-win regular season that led to their first playoff appearance since 2018. Being proactive during the draft and free agency would be a good way for them to climb back into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.