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Cedi Osman
Cedi Osman
Position: F-G
Born: 04/08/95
Height: 6-7 / 2.01
Weight:215 lbs. / 97.5 kg.
Salary: $7,426,088
When the Cavaliers expressed interest in acquiring Suns forward Jae Crowder, Cedi Osman’s name came up in the trade talks, league sources told HoopsHype. It’s not the first time, nor the last, his name will likely come up in trade talks leading up to February’s trade deadline. With the recent insertion of Lamar Stevens into the starting lineup, Osman is now seeing less playing time behind Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, and Stevens. Osman’s $7.4 million salary can easily fit into most trade discussions. Next season, Osman’s salary declines to $6.7 million, which could appeal to teams.
Osman’s playing time has become as unpredictable as his jumper. “It’s not easy,” Bickerstaff admitted when asked about Osman’s ever-changing role. “But we were talking pregame about how guys want to be here and be a part of it. When your time is called, you’ve just gotta give your best and Cedi is another example of that. He wants to be a part of this team. He wants to help. He wants to be on the floor. When his number is called, he’s gonna give us all he’s got and that’s a credit to him.
With the Cavaliers’ defense-heavy focus, and Okoro’s propensity to do the little things even with a volatile offensive package, Osman appears to be the most vulnerable — unless the team is playing shorthanded like Sunday night or needs a jolt, the kind only Osman can provide. “Whenever my number is called, I’ll be ready and try to bring the best to the team,” Osman said. “I’m just glad I was able to do that tonight and hopefully every other night. I know when I bring the energy, I can just help the team, so that’s why I gotta stay ready. Whatever happens, I gotta stay ready and do my best every time I step on the court.” So, how does Osman keep that mindset? “Just being positive,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can control. I gotta be positive with myself and work every day to get better.”
“I’m just trying to carry over what I did last season,” Osman told Sunday night following the 117-107 overtime win against the Washington Wizards. “I know what (Cavs coach) J.B. (Bickerstaff) expects of me every night. I’ve been talking to him constantly. He just wants me to be myself. Most importantly, he expects energy and defensive effort from me every time I’m on the floor. I’m aware of that. I’m capable of doing it. I’ve accepted the challenge. Knowing my role makes the game easier for me. Makes it more enjoyable too.”
Teammate Kevin Love, who has grown close with Osman and often competes against him in post-practice shooting contests, has tried to drive home the same point. “I’ve been on him about just playing free. When he plays free and plays with joy, he’s so much better,” Love said following Saturday’s win over the Chicago Bulls in which Osman boasted the best plus-minus (41) of any player. “He’s playing out in transition. He’s slashing to the cup. He hits tough shots. He hits open shots. When he’s playing free and having joy, it’s fun to watch. He’s like a whole different person and whole different player. I don’t know if it’s because he got married this summer and wanted to come out right away and play that well off the bat, but he’s been great.”