Suddenly, the Cavaliers have depth galore.
It was an issue that plagued the Cavs last season, ultimately contributing to their late-season collapse.
Cleveland managed to survive losing Collin Sexton for most of the season.
They also navigated Ricky Rubio’s season-ending injury.
But injuries to Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley were killers.
So the Cavs got to work right away in free agency to address their depth problem.
But after several moves, the team is looking at a limited number of roster spots left, with too many players to fill them.
That includes Cedi Osman.
Unlike Sexton, Mobley, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro, Osman wasn’t a lottery pick.
He wasn’t even a first-round pick.
— Steeler McCavsfan (@JLeBeau76) July 29, 2022
In fact, Osman wasn’t even a Cavaliers pick.
Back in 2017, Osman was selected with the first pick in the second round by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He came to Cleveland by way of a draft-night trade that sent Tyus Jones to Minnesota.
And five seasons into his young career, Osman is a career 42.3% shooter from the field and a 34.9% shooter from beyond the arc.
The two-guard shot the ball well last season from three, good for 35.7% of his 5.4 attempts per game.
But last season also saw his minutes crater to the lowest since his rookie campaign.
It could be a sign that Coach J.B. Bickerstaff preferred some of the other, younger options on the team last season, including Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade.
In fact, Cavs insider Chris Fedor seemed to think so, predicting who might be in the trade danger zone in a recent mailbag for cleveland.com:
“Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade are both on waivable, non-guaranteed deals. But the Cavs like them, so cutting one or both feels unlikely — unless they are desperate for added financial flexibility.
Osman and Dylan Windler would be most in danger. Theoretically, the Cavs could attach a future second-round pick or two and send one into an opposing team’s cap space. Both Indiana and San Antonio still have room in what would effectively be a salary dump.”
That Windler and Osman could be the next to go isn’t particularly surprising.
After flashing potential on and off for several seasons, Windler simply hasn’t been able to put it all together.
When he’s on, he’s a lights-out shooter.
But the problem is, he’s off more than he’s on.
The Real Reason
But stats aside, there’s one real reason why Osman might be gone this offseason.
As it stands, the roster is fully loaded at 15 players.
Bringing in Sexton would push the roster to 16, one player over the regular-season limit.
In that case, a trade would necessarily need to occur, with Isaiah Mobley and RJ Nembhard already taking up the two-way G-League spots.
Sexton is capable of outperforming his current per-100 possessions pace, but it's not indefensible for the #Cavs to give priority to a recently-acquired player that has comparable production and is more comfortable at a position of need.
— D.Ball (@dballbball) July 29, 2022
But, according to Fedor, some in Cavs’ front office prefer Caris LeVert over Sexton, anyways.
Fedor shared his thoughts on ESPN basketball analyst Zach Lowe’s podcast, The Lowe Post:
“There are multiple people inside the organization that if they have their choice between Caris LeVert and Collin Sexton, they would take Caris over Collin because of the size, because of the length, because of the versatility that he can bring on the defensive end of the floor. And they liked what they saw with Caris and Darius together. Obviously, the numbers back that up.”
LeVert struggled to get into a rhythm with the Cavs last season and saw his own time maligned by injury.
But perhaps an offseason of training rejuvenates LeVert.
A Garland-LeVert backcourt would be intriguing, just based on the small sample size from last season.