Cleveland Cavaliers: Cedi Osman should start this year

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for wing help but that doesn’t mean Cedi Osman isn’t the man who should still start at SF.

Starting small forward Cedi Osman may see himself moved to a bench role eventually, at least that’s what Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com foresees happening. In his recent write-up, Fedor speculated that while Osman’s contract is for a “foundation player”, their search for new wing players says otherwise. With the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to draft a wing, and/or bring one in via free agency, the odds that Osman is on the bench as a sixth or seventh man is possible. While that may be a situation to eventually consider, that should not be the case for the upcoming season.

Here’s what Fedor said on Osman as a Cavs starter;

I think his contract says it all. Osman received a team-friendly deal that decreases in value and aligns monetarily with the mid-level exception. On top of that, the Cavs used first-round capital on Dylan Windler, who some believed would move into Osman’s starting spot at some point as a rookie. Of course, Windler was shut down early and never played a game, forced to have season-ending surgery on his leg. Nonetheless, the point remains. Oh, and the Cavs are hunting for wings this offseason, either in the draft, free agency or trades. That doesn’t scream: Cedi Osman foundation player.

Osman earned his contract. He has a role on this team. It’s probably not long-term starter. He’s a nice player, probably a seventh- or eighth-man in an eventual playoff rotation.

There are several problems with his hypothesis. Firstly, unless a Duncan Robinson is available (he won’t be), there isn’t a wing player that the Cavs can afford that fits into the offense as well as Osman. Osman isn’t just able to shoot three’s and score on the inside, but he’s also a good facilitator. With a team full of ball-hogs, that role that Osman provides would be crucial. Especially if the team implemented more plays for Osman to do just that.

Secondly, assuming the Cavs do take Isralie prospect Deni Avdija, then it makes sense the Cavs wouldn’t want to rush out the 19-year-old day one to start and facilitate the offense. As a point forward he’s quite capable of being the guy who distributes the ball but that does take some time to learn on the NBA level, meaning Osman would still start in that situation.

Osman also is a solid defender, who plays with hustle, has a dramatically diverse skill set, and could be the third-best scorer on a team if given the chance. Osman was not the problem last year, Darius Garland was. So were the injuries. Injuries were huge against the Cavs.

And their terrible defense.

Osman, however, was not the problem. If a player like Avdija is available, sure, go get him. It’s just not that likely that there will be many players that fit into the Cavs current lineup as well as Osman besides Avdija. If serious changes are made, and a new point guard is brought in, then maybe consider changing up Osman’s role. As of right now, you need an unselfish player like Osman in your starting lineup.

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