The Universally-Loved Cedi Osman

This feature article is presented by Betway.

The last time the Cavaliers reached the Playoffs before this past season, Cedi Osman was a wide-eyed rookie. When they returned this spring, he was the most tenured player on the roster. 

Originally drafted by the Timberwolves with the 31st overall pick in 2015 before being traded to Cleveland for Tyus Jones on Draft night, Osman just completed his sixth season with the Cavaliers. When the team and Kevin Love parted ways in mid-February, he became the dean of the squad. Behind the young Cedi are Darius Garland and Dean Wade, with four years of service apiece.

(As a sidenote, let’s also acknowledge the fan at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse who’s done the “MVP!” chant every time Cedi’s toed the free throw line over those half-dozen years.)

In his six years, despite his frenetic playing style, Cedi has been a steady presence. He’s never appeared in less than 59 games in a season, appearing in 77 contests last year. And after starting in all but one game during his second and third seasons in the league, Osman’s started just five over the last two seasons. 

Last year, Cedi got off to a historically good start off the bench – becoming just the fourth Cavalier in team history to start the season with four games of at least 15 points as a reserve, joining Jordan Clarkson, Austin Carr and Campy Russell. His 17 points in the season opener against Toronto were the most since Ramon Sessions’ 18 back in 2011. 

Overall, Cedi notched double-figures in 30 games this year, topping the 20-point plateau on six occasions – averaging 8.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 75 appearances off the bench. 

Osman was also one of the most efficient reserves in the league this season. Only New York’s Immanuel Quickley and OKC’s Isaiah Joe had a better +/- number than Cedi’s +204. 

The Cavaliers energy guy drilled at least four triples in nine games last year. He posted a 20-point fourth quarter in a lopsided home win over Utah and went 8-of-10 from the floor in a blowout win against Atlanta. 

A UNICEF National Ambassador and the husband of Turkish actress and model, Ebru Şahin, the universally-loved swingman from Ohrid, Macedonia didn’t find his rhythm in his second career trip to the postseason – netting double-figures just once in the five-game series, shooting 36 percent from the floor, 30 percent from long-range. 

HIGHLIGHT – Leave it to Cedi to have a flair for the dramatic – saving his best performance of the season, and one of the finest of his career, for Turkish Heritage Night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. 

In that contest, a 23-point drubbing of the Clippers, Osman led all scorers and matched a career-high with 29 points off the bench – going 11-for-13 from the floor, including a flawless 7-for-7 mark from long-distance.

Cedi’s perfect shooting mark in seven three-point attempts marked just the third time in franchise history that feat’s been achieved, with Osman joining Kyrie Irving (2015) and Mo Williams (2010). 

The 6th-year man also became the only Cavalier in team history to score at least 29 points in less than 22 minutes of action. 

BY THE NUMBERS – 628 … three-pointers that Cedi Osman has drilled as a Cavalier, placing him 5th on the franchise’s all-time list. 

In Osman’s previously mentioned 29-point showing against L.A., he eclipsed Daniel Gibson’s 578 and later surpassed J.R. Smith’s mark of 585. He now sets his sights on Kyrie Irving at No. 4 with 723.  

QUOTABLE – Cedi, on how this past season has been different than his last few with the team…

“Obviously, it’s much, much different than the last couple years I’ve had here. Because I’ve seen the highest point and, obviously, the lowest point. So, right now we’re climbing back to the highest point. And I’m just happy to be a part of this team. I’m just glad that everything worked out well for us, rebuilding and getting to this point. It’s something that we have to be proud of.”

LOOKING AHEAD – The team’s beloved international veteran comes into next season on the final year of his deal – a fixture for the Wine & Gold since his arrival, a constant in what’s been an ever-changing Cavaliers universe.

But the way Cleveland’s second unit performed collectively in the postseason will be a focal point for the front office over the summer months. If Cedi returns as a part of that unit next year – fans and teammates alike know exactly what they’re getting. And at least one of those fans will have his MVP.