Cedi Osman credits Cavs for fulfilling his dreams in emotional farewell message

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cedi Osman took some time to express profound gratitude to the Cleveland Cavaliers as he beings the next phase of his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.

“I grew up dreaming of becoming a basketball player,” Osman wrote. “Writing these words today, I remember each and every minute we spent in the last 6 seasons with proud and happiness.

“To the fans:

“I’ve always been happy to be a part of this family. You opened your arms and welcomed me as one of your own. Thank you so much for the boundless love you have shown me since the first day I stepped into the NBA. You will remain in the most special place of my heart.

“To the organization:

Cleveland Cavaliers made my dreams come true. You have shown me nothing but love and for that, I will be grateful forever. All the management team, coaches, technical staff that I worked with and all my colleagues whose names I forgot to mention, I love you all from the bottom of my heart.

“To my teammates:

“Thank you to each and every one of you. I will always miss the team spirit we built on and off the court. I will keep an eye on all of you guys, and will always be proud of your achievements.

“Thank you Cleveland! #TheFirstCedi.”

Osman was dealt to San Antonio as part of a three-team deal that helped the Cavaliers land Max Strus.

Osman was the first pick of the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 31 overall) and traded to Cleveland on draft night. The 28-year-old Turkish national played six seasons for the Cavs, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

Last season, his scoring average fell below nine points per game after it was above double digits the previous four, though his field-goal percentage actually improved.

He averaged 6.0 points per game during Cleveland’s five-game series loss to the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, a defeat that sent the Cavs into the offseason seeking players who could boost their offense.

To that end, the Cavs used Osman and Lamar Stevens as part of the deal to acquire Strus from the Miami Heat, with the 27-year-old reportedly receiving a four-year, $63 million contract. Strus has increased his scoring average in each of his four NBA seasons, with a career high of 11.5 points per game in 2022-23.

He reportedly is being considered for a starting role for the Cavs, but he could have more value providing a scoring boost as a reserve. Osman started just five games total for Cleveland over the past two seasons, and he could get a bigger opportunity on a young Spurs team that will build around top prospect Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

The Cavs also signed Georges Niang, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers, to a reported three-year, $26 million contract, giving them two of the players they targeted heading into the start of free agency. Cleveland also re-signed Caris LeVert, signed Ty Jerome and are adding Damian Jones in a trade with the Utah Jazz.

With Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Jarett Allen and Evan Mobley as their core, the Cavs are looking to get back to the playoffs and have more success there. According to Osman, he’ll be watching his former teammates and taking pride in their accomplishments.

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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.