It wasn’t all that long ago Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman was a kid in the NBA, playing alongside LeBron James during his rookie year and thrust into an NBA Finals run what would be James’ final year in Cleveland.
He has done a lot of growing up over the last five years, but he still maintains that youthful smile and affable personality that has made him a fan favorite during his time in Cleveland.
“I had a beautiful summer, obviously I got married,” Osman said. "It was one of the best days of my life.”
As he enters his sixth year with the Wine and Gold, he’s focused on helping the team get to the next level. But he also is aware of what’s at stake; primarily a role in the starting five.
“Everybody’s competing here to get the role,” Osman said. “When we step on the court everybody is trying to get better and we’re helping each other to get better.”
At the same time, it can be difficult to filter the outside noise. It’s no secret that Osman was the subject of trade rumors of the offseason as the Cavs explored options to upgrade the small forward position.
“Obviously I’ve been hearing those things, but I’m just focused on basketball,” Osman said. “You really can’t control that, so whenever I step on the court I work on my game and try to get better. It’s going on six years here in Cleveland. I’m happy here and this is my home.”
Osman didn’t exactly reach out to the organization for reassurance on his future, but the lines of communications are always open with J.B. Bickerstaff and the Cavs’ front office. Bickerstaff spent some time in Greece over the summer and the two met up for dinner and general manager Mike Gansey was available during his time in Georgia in the offseason.
“You can’t control that. If it happens, it happens, but I’m here right now and I’m happy to be a Cleveland Cavalier,” Osman said.
The Turkey native even spent some time with the national team this summer, managing a delicate balance of rest and conditioning to prepare for this upcoming season.
“We were disappointed the way we finished the season, because we were right there,” Osman said. “But that disappointment made us even hungrier.”
Osman feels like this past season in Cleveland was his best. His points per-game last season (10.7) was a shade below his career-high of 13 per-contest in 2018-19 and he shot 43% from the field.
“I knew my role, I knew what the coach was asking from me,” Osman.
Like most on this roster, Osman is anxious to get back to work and build off last year’s success. As the Cavaliers tip-off the preseason Wednesday night, Osman feels the Cavaliers now command a level of respect that wasn’t offered only a year ago.
“We have a great team. I believe if we play like we did last year, if we stick to the system, we’ll be really dangerous,” Osman said.
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