Cedi Osman is a Turkish born professional basketball player who plays overseas in his native country. The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Osman in the second round of the NBA draft and traded his draft rights to Cleveland Cavaliers. Osman is a skilled small forward who Cleveland had high regards for. He has been a professional player in Europe for the past three years and is still only 20 years old. He was known around the NBA as one of the best young up and coming European wing players. He has great height for his position, at 6’8”. He plays for a team called Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the Turkish Basketball league and like many foreign players his game is still somewhat of a mystery.
The Cavaliers clearly like the size and skill set of Osman, but he is very hard to evaluate due to the lack of playing time in Europe. The past two seasons he played only about 12 and 19 minutes per game. This past year he averaged about 6 points and 3 rebounds per game. It is hard to get a good read on a player who only plays these type of minutes. This acquisition by the Cavaliers was clearly about the perceived potential that they see in Osman. They said they certainly wanted the rights to the Turkish player but there were a couple other reasons for this move.
Graphic via youtube
Osman is young and is still developing, so the most likely scenario is that he will remain in Turkey for a few more years. Cleveland did not want to draft a player that would be on this year’s roster due to their already exploding luxury tax penalty. They also are going for a championship currently and have no need for a player that is still developing on the current roster. They want veterans that can contribute on the end of the bench if they need them. This acquisition was the best of both worlds for both sides. Cleveland got a player they can keep overseas to develop for a few years and if Osman decides he wants to come play state side he will have the chance to do so for a good team. Looking down road, if Osman does develop as Cleveland expects he could come in as the backup small forward for LeBron James towards the end of LeBron’s career. By the time he came to the United States, LeBron would be winding down his career and then Osman would have the chance to compete for the starting small forward spot once James retires. Cleveland has a lot of talent but small forward is not their deepest position. That is the best case scenario for Osman in the future but it will be year’s down the line before we see if he even comes over to the NBA.
Graphic via youtube