The Cleveland Cavaliers have not had much to be excited about in the post-LeBron James era. At 17-53, the Cavs are currently the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference and third-worst team in the NBA, just one year removed from making four consecutive NBA Finals appearances. That is what losing an all-time great can do to an organization.
Nonetheless, second-year forward Cedi Osman increasingly looks like a franchise building block. Osman has moved into a starting role this season, averaging 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting close to 36 percent from three-point land.
Osman was acquired on draft night in 2015 in the deal that sent Tyus Jones to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the 23-year-old has begun to blossom alongside rookie point guard Collin Sexton. Osman will also represent his homeland of Turkey in the FIBA World Cup this summer, and is particularly excited about the opportunity to play Team USA.
As he told Chris Fedor of cleveland.com:
“It’s great. I’m really excited about it,” Osman told cleveland.com about playing Team USA early in the group stage.
Osman was actually having dinner with his FIBA coach in Cleveland recently and the two were discussing how much they wanted to draw USA.
“We get to play against them, we are going to shoot our shot and, of course, it’s going to be tough, but we’re going to try to do our best,” Osman told cleveland.com. “After that, we aren’t going to play against each other until almost the finals so that’s why it’s good for us. It won’t be easy, but I believe we are going to be second in the group.”
The Cavaliers may be in rebuilding mode, but Osman’s evident confidence in his own abilities bodes well for his future in Cleveland.