There’s a new club in Cleveland. It started right after the Cavs demolished Boston. I’m not in it. You aren’t in it. LeBron James isn’t even in it. It’s called The Corner-to-Corner, Coast-to-Coast, Cool Cav Club. 7C for short. It has just one member, and his name is Cedi Osman. He hails from Turkey; and in the past three games he has averaged 12.3 points while shooting 59.1% from the floor and 50% from 3. He has also grabbed five boards, 1.7 steals, and two assists in 29.8 minutes a night during this hot run. When Tyronn Lue gave him an opportunity, he seized it. And, that’s why he gets to be in this club, this gang of one.
There are some other stipulations to get in 7C, but he meets them all. You have to run the floor corner-to-corner, you must defend corner shooters and take corner shots. You have to go coast-to-coast, grab the rebound and run! You have be concise in your movements. There’s no superfluous dribbling if you’re in this cool crowd. You gotta hustle. You have to be a friend to LeBron. And, you gotta have real poofy hair. Your hair must be a weapon as if you were transported to the 70s and got a perm. It has to be able to make all the ladies swoon. It also helps if your name begins with a “C.” Alliteration is always a plus when you’re in any club.
It’s easy to write Cedi off because he didn’t get minutes all season and is suddenly popping off, but he has great habits already and plays a very effective brand of basketball.
Defensively, Cedi was called on to cover Kyrie Irving for a few stretches Sunday afternoon. Kyrie scored on him, but he’s going to do that to even the best defender in the NBA. Osman used his foot speed and put up a reasonable amount of resistance to Irving.
In the play above, Irving takes a screen near the start of the 3-point arc and then gets the ball in a dribble hand off from Aron Baynes. Baynes is supposed to rub Cedi off to free Irving for a drive. He can’t though, because Cedi does a wonderful job of keeping himself, mainly his hips, between Irving and the screens. When Irving finally rounds the corner to the lane, Cedi resets his stance and squares his hips to him. He follows Kyrie and eventually fouls him by reaching in. However, the thought process is there. He doesn’t let his hips get turned. He uses his lateral movement to keep Irving from getting to the hoop. He knows how to defend.
He still makes mistakes. He forgot to step up on Irving at one point in the game and Kyrie just dropped a 3 in his face. That’s forgivable though, because Cedi is constantly hustling, and it results in great things. In the clip below, Malcolm Delaney of the Hawks lobs a wild pass that goes over the head of LeBron’s man. LeBron is boxing out in anticipation, so he’s in the wrong spot to run to the ball. Cedi isn’t though. He sprints from the foul line to the corner and jumps out of bounds saving the ball to spark a fast break. He whips the ball in and Jeff Green is able to take off for a filthy dunk.
Those types of plays make Cedi loved by his teammates. He creates posters. And, someday he will be on posters. He has great timing for such a young player. Look what he does when Kyrie attempts a cross court pass to Marcus Morris.
Cedi is sitting back on Morris and playing defense. He’s watching him and looking around to see if he needs to help in the post. He notices Tristan Thompson is behind him to help if needed, which is why he decides to jump the passing lane to intercept the ball. All of the Celtics’ momentum is leaning towards their hoop, so Cedi is able to sprint the length of the floor and… Well, he tries to dunk, but he gets a little excited and misses. Nonetheless, LeBron runs up to him immediately and daps him up. “Real recognizes real,” as people say. LeBron has done what Cedi did there hundreds of times. He understands the nerves that happen the first time you get a break away as a young kid and appreciates the effort.
Cedi even has the timing down for swiping on a big man from the strong side. Not many kids can do that!
For good measure, let’s look at one more Cedi defensive play. This one is going to let us start a chat about his offense. In this video, he makes a decent block on Sean Kilpatrick by staying vertical and deflecting the ball to Kyle Korver.
What’s impressive though is that Cedi runs the length of the floor and finishes the play. He sprints past two other Cavaliers. People, he’s quick. He is the farthest back Cleveland defender, but he wishes himself into the fast break. He’s a guy that runs coast-to-coast. After rebounds, he immediately looks up court and goes.
It results in great things. When he runs with the ball the length of the floor, it’s hard to stop him. He makes sure he’s constantly moving north to south. NBA guys don’t want to take a charge or have to stop that. It tricks them into back pedaling and results in fouls.
Cedi even uses a nice spin move to further penetrate on that grab and go to draw the foul. He isn’t just a hustle guy. He uses concise movement and makes quick decisions to be effective in half-court ball. He’s shown he has a decent handle. Look at this behind the back dribble that results in him getting fouled…
This move is half quick reaction after catching the ball and half nasty crossover. He gets Jayson Tatum leaning, and immediately whips to the other side to free himself. There’s no extra dribbling in that move at all. His quick decision making lets him take advantage of the ball’s movement.
Look at this play:
The Piston defenders are all in help positions here. Cedi catches the ball and immediately drives. He doesn’t allow them to recover one bit. And, that causes him to make Detroit send another defender at him. He then dishes the ball to Jeff Green for an easy 3.
Cedi is a fan of the easy 3 too. He’s not hesitating to shoot when he’s open, which isn’t always the case for an NBA rookie.
That clip also shows more of Cedi’s ability to just get down the floor. If Cedi doesn’t have the ball he’s running all the way to the other baseline to fill the lane or to space to the corners.
The young Turk even has some finesse passing skills. He should be able to enter the ball to Kevin Love in the post with no issues whatsoever. He watches James cut here and has no problem throwing the ball over three different Atlanta players to get the easy bucket.
A lot of what Cedi brings to the table looks like what Matthew Dellavedova did when he broke out for the Cavs. He hustles. He makes the right decision. He gets out of the way when he needs to, but Cedi is much more talented than Delly. He actually has the tools to possibly be a twenty a night guy who gets five boards and five assists. Osman’s biggest strength is making the game easy for himself: he only does what he can and nothing extra.
That shouldn’t be surprising considering he’s been a pro since he was 12. He’s only going to get better too. He’s 22, is 6’8” and 216 pounds. He currently struggles with his free throw shooting. That’s all fixable. He can put on weight and change his free throw stroke. There’s no need to worry.
It makes me mad at Tyronn Lue for not playing him, and it makes me mad at myself for not being more adamant about him getting minutes early on this year. Hopefully, he will keep his starting spot as the season moves forward. LeBron likes the kid, and didn’t bark at him once on Sunday. He did bark at J.R. Smith quite a few times though, and it seems that the King is finally sick of waiting for talented guys to show. He should be, considering what happened with Isaiah Thomas, and Jae Crowder. Cedi is the hustler the starters need. He makes everyone want to play harder.
Lastly, I have to give a shout out to Ben Werth who really should be telling us all, “I told you so.” In the summer of 2015 before the draft, Ben touted Cedi. The Cavs took him and Ben’s comments about him make me think he might have special wizard powers or something.
Turkish wing, Cedi Osman has been mostly projected as a mid to late second round pick. Though his 2014-2015 counting numbers were rather pedestrian with powerhouse, Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the Turkish league, the 6’8″ 20 year old displayed his frenetic energy on a nightly basis. Osman is most easily described as a pleasant mix between Mathew Dellavedova and Chandler Parsons. Like Parsons, Osman is a terror in transition. He times his steps very well at full speed while maintaining good balance for a variety of finishes. His solid rebounding and handle let him start or end the break with equal skill. Like Delly, he plays with top energy at all times showing a good understanding of weakside positional help off ball, and a good chest up technique on ball. On the flip side, his jumper is as streaky as his two NBA counterparts and he gets caught in between on dribble drives. Still, he is first round talent that needs strength and seasoning. It will likely be at least one or two seasons before Osman even considers making the trip to America. That is the only reason why the Cavs would have a realistic shot at snagging him so late. If he is anywhere near their pick, the Cavs should grab him.