With the 2015 NBA Draft in the books, the Cleveland Cavaliers have three second round picks now under their control. The Cavs traded the 24th pick, Duke point guard Tyus Jones, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 31st and 36th picks, in addition to the 53rd pick they already owned. With those selections, they brought in Turkish wing Cedi Osman, Syracuse power forward Rakeem Christmas, and St. John's foward Sir'dominic Pointer. Christmas and Pointer are likely development projects for the Canton Charge, but Osman is intriguing, as he'll stay abroad in Europe in 2015-2016, but should by far be the best NBA prospect of the three.
Who is Cedi Osman?
Osman is a 6'8" wing from Turkey who plays for Anadolu Efes, the same team that employs Philadelphia 76ers forward prospect Dario Saric, former Oklahoma City Thunder center Nenad Krstic, and shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz, a likely future first round pick. Osman averaged 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 27 games of Euroleague action last year, but he's got serious potential as an all-around role player. He's 20 years old, and already has 40 games of Euroleague experience, played for the Turkish national team in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and is playing for one of the most successful teams in Europe. While we might not see him for a few years, he fits the Cavs identity and could be a really good role player.
Osman projects as a small forward in the NBA, although he can definitely play some shooting guard as well. He's 6'8" with decent length, is a good athlete, and has great quickness. Osman has a really good first step off the dribble and he can get into the lane with ease against close-outs and off screens, and he's laterally quick on defense. He's not overly explosive, but he has a decent vertical, and can contest shots on the defensive end. Osman probably needs to add mass to be a regular three in the NBA, because he weighs just over 190 lbs., and doesn't have a well-defined upper body. He can get overpowered in the post, and struggles to finish against contact for this reason. However, he's got the frame to put on 20 lbs., and if he can get his upper body more well defined, I think he should be more than fine athletically.
Osman's never going to be a top scoring option on offense, but he projects as a decent role player. Osman's best offensive skill is as a slasher, both on and off the ball, where he can use his quick first step and a good rip-through move to catch the defense off balance and get into the lane. He's also good at filling lanes and being an outlet in the pick-and-roll. Osman's not much of a creator for himself otherwise, as he has a pretty loose handle and he struggles to shoot off the dribble. His shooting overall needs some work, as he has really inconsistent mechanics and hit just 33.5 percent overall last season from three, but he's best as a catch-and-shoot player, and there's hope he can improve there, as Efes would be wise to work with him there as they replace their best shooters in Milko Bjelica and Matt Janning this season. Osman is a good passer, which is a draw, as he makes smart extra passes and can facilitate in transition well. Overall, he has some things to work on, but Osman should top out as a smart and useful role player offensively, especially if his shooting improves.
If Osman can become a more polished offensive player, he's going to be a very useful NBA role player, because he projects as a very solid defender. Osman's combination of length, quickness, and defensive IQ make him a great potential perimeter defender, and he has experience defending one through three for Efes. Osman uses his body well to contain penetration, and he can stay with quicker guards on the perimeter. He's a great help defender who is positionally sound, and he's got great hands and anticipation, averaging 1.5 steals per 40 minutes in Euroleague. He projects as a guy who's going to be a good team defender that can do well against most NBA guards. His main issue on this end is strength, as bigger guys can post him up and overpower him on drives, but again, that's something that will likely improve as he gets stronger. He can perform capably and doesn't have any major bad habits, so I like where he'll be defensively in two or three years.
Osman's anticipation skills on both ends and general basketball IQ are big draws as he develops as an NBA prospect. Osman's been in the game for a long time as a 20-year old, and has extensive Euroleague experience and two gold medals in amateur international play. He knows the game and makes smart plays on both ends. Even more impressive than his resume and acumen, though, is his motor. Osman never stops moving on the floor, and he's a playmaker on defense through his hustle and determination as much as his physical skills. Osman's the type of guy who attempts chase-down blocks on fast breaks, rips rebounds away from bigs, and crashes the offensive glass as a shooting guard. He's a great rebounder even though he's not strong enough to consistently box out bigger guys, and he makes opponents work for their points. On a team that already has Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson, Cavs fans should feel quite comfortable with Osman's style of play.
I see Osman doing a lot of what Iman Shumpert did for the Cavs this year. The off-ball movement, the defensive versatility, and the inconsistent thee-point shooting match pretty well, and Osman's bigger, meaning he potentially could be more versatile than Shump defensively, even though he probably won't reach the peak of what Shump's capabilities should be. His ball-handling skills should top out at similar to Shump, and he's a slightly better rebounder. I think Osman takes on that sort of role on the Cavs if and when he comes over.
When's He Coming Over?
2017 at the earliest. As you may be familiar with from the Saric case, Anadolu Efes likes to keep their guys, and Osman's buyout is similarly messy, probably preventing a jump to the NBA for Osman until the 2017-2018 NBA season. After that, though, it shouldn't take much to get Osman to come over. The Cavs will likely still be a title contending team, and they'll still have LeBron James, which I'd assume would be a draw. They also (might) still have David Blatt, a wild card as Blatt coached Efes when Osman joined the club's junior team in 2007. That they can't bring him over immediately is fine, because the Cavs probably can't afford bringing him over this summer, and he could be an infusion of talent down the line, having similar effect to Nikola Mirotic's impact on the Chicago Bulls this season. And as one of the more coveted Euro-stash prospects on the market, the Cavs could also use his rights as a serious trade asset. Overall, the Osman pick presents multiple good options for the Cavs going forward, even if they don't get a player who contributes next year.