Osman’s contract called for that full amount to remain non-guaranteed until June 29, so if the Cavs had wanted to avoid being on the hook for that money, they could’ve waived him today. According to Wojnarowski, Cleveland won’t take that route.
[RELATED: Early NBA Salary Guarantee Dates For 2023/24]
Osman, 28, saw his role reduced a little in 2022/23 — the 20.1 minutes per game he averaged this past season represented his lowest mark since his rookie year in 2017/18. He put up 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per night across 77 appearances, with a shooting line of .451/.372/.694.
Waiving Osman’s wouldn’t have put the Cavaliers in position to create meaningful cap room or generated necessary breathing room below the tax, so it’s no surprise that the team decided to retain him. Even if the 6’7″ forward isn’t in Cleveland’s long-term plans, his expiring salary could be useful for salary-matching purposes in a trade later this offseason or during the ’23/24 season.
As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, the Cavs are currently $37.5MM below the projected luxury tax line, which should give them the flexibility to re-sign Caris LeVert and to use the full $12.4MM mid-level exception while staying out of tax territory.
Osman is on track for unrestricted free agency in 2024 if he doesn’t sign an extension before then.