Cedi Osman

Central Notes: Osman, Hill, Pistons Rotation

Cedi Osman has heard his name mentioned in trade rumors, including a potential deal involving Suns forward Jae Crowder. He’s trying to block out those distractions during training camp, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.

“I’ve been hearing those things,” the Cavaliers forward said. “But I’m just focused on my basketball because you cannot control that. That’s why whenever I stepped on a court I was just working on my game and trying to get better. It’s been six years since coming over, six years in Cleveland. I’m happy here and this is my home.”

Those rumors persist and the franchise would like to upgrade at small forward, if possible, though the fact that Cleveland is close to the luxury tax line complicates the issue, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • George Hill admits that enduring an injury-plagued season actually encouraged him to keep playing, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The Bucks guard had seriously considered retiring after last season. “I felt like I let the city of Milwaukee down last year not being able to perform the way I normally perform,” he said. “I let my teammates down being injured. And I thought about retiring. … but as a competitor I didn’t want to go out like that. So, had a great offseason for the summer, decided to come back and try to redeem myself and make myself better.” Hill signed a two-year, $8MM contract prior to last season.
  • With the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, how will the Pistons’ frontcourt rotation shake out? James Edwards III of The Athletic projects the former Jazz forward to start alongside Saddiq Bey, with Isaiah Stewart at center. Edwards projects Marvin Bagley and Isaiah Livers as part of the second unit ahead of Jalen Duren, Nerlens Noel and Kevin Knox.
  • Will the Pistons’ drought without a playoff win extend to 15 seasons? That’s what John Hollinger of The Athletic anticipates. He sees this as a 28-win season in Detroit with the caveat that the team’s fortunes should improve sharply in the near future.

Suns Notes: Ayton, Williams, Sale Price, Crowder, Preseason Loss

Suns center Deandre Ayton raised a lot of eyebrows when he said at the start of training camp that he hadn’t spoken to Monty Williams since the team’s playoff flameout last season. The Suns coach calls it a non-issue, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets in a video clip.

“I coach him hard every day in practice,” Williams said. “You see he’s here getting his work in and that’s what we expect of our guys. … We don’t need to air anything out. That’s my point. I’m not going to keep addressing that. He’s the player, I’m the coach.”

We have more on the Suns:

  • Joe Tsai bought the Nets for an NBA-record $2.35 billion in 2019 and an investment banker that spoke with ESPN’s Baxter Holmes believes the Suns will sell for higher price. Suspended owner Robert Sarver has begun the process of selling the team. Some of the factors that could drive up the price include the warm-weather climate and proximity to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Bay Area, as well as the team’s new practice facility and renovated arena. In recent days, Suns executive VP and CFO Jim Pitman relayed to team employees that a fully executed sale of the team could take 6-9 months, Holmes adds.
  • Experts that spoke to Marc Stein said the Suns’ sale price could reach the $4 billion threshold, he reports in a Substack post. That’s potentially 10 times the $401MM purchase price that Sarver’s ownership group paid in April 2004.
  • A source told Stein over the weekend that the trade chatter regarding the Suns’ Jae Crowder being swapped for the Cavaliers’ Cedi Osman isn’t much more than that. Crowder is sitting out training camp while awaiting a trade.
  • The Suns lost an exhibition game to the Adelaide 36ers and Rankin notes that the team lacked energy and enthusiasm. The defense was especially poor, as it surrendered 134 points.

Central Notes: Turner, Pacers, Hayes, Bogdanovic, Cavs

Pacers center Myles Turner addressed the trade rumors surrounding him, saying he’s “numb” to the chatter, Wilson Moore of the Indianapolis Star writes.

“This is the only time I will be addressing it this year; I want to make sure everyone knows that,” Turner said. “Yeah, elephant in the room. For me, this is my eighth season. I’ve been in trade rumors the past four or five years. It’s something that I know that I’m numb to. It’s something that it’s just whatever comes with this business. There are no hard feelings in this business. You have to take the emotions out of everything, and I’ve learned that at a young age, and I still hold true to that. My job is to come in here and help these young guys now, man.”

Turner’s expiring contract carries a cap hit of $18MM.

We have more info regarding the Central Division:

  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle plans to use his bench extensively this season, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. He’s pondering a rotation of 10 or more players. “We’re going to use our depth as an advantage, we’re going to use it as something to drive our development internally every day,” he said.
  • Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said next offseason will be pivotal during the franchise’s rebuild, he told Evan Sidery of Basketball News. “Look, we have three first-round picks it looks like next year,” he said. “We have close to $30 million in cap space. And we’ll be active to use that cap space to acquire more assets. That’s just natural, but I think it gives us the ability to pivot in a lot of different ways.”
  • Killian Hayes needs to improve his shooting to be in the Pistons’ long-term plans. He spent the offseason altering his shooting motion, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. “I’m confident in my shot,” Hayes said. “I worked with different shooting coaches. We tweaked some things. I’m excited.” The former lottery pick has shot 37.4% from the field and 26.8% from long range during his first two NBA seasons.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is officially a member of the Pistons and the veteran forward is thrilled with the direction of his new team, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News writes. “I kind of knew that I was going to be traded. I was just waiting to see where I’m going to end up,” Bogdanovic said. “Super excited to be here with this young group of guys and a coach that is really experienced. Everything is great so far.”
  • Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Isaac Okoro, Caris LeVert, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler are all vying for the small forward starting job with the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “We’ve gone back and forth on that, I’ll be honest with you guys,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “But we’re gonna give it an opportunity and see exactly what works best and what is the most troublesome for defenses.”

Cavaliers Rumors: Mitchell, Love, Rubio, LeBron

The Cavaliers‘ trade for Donovan Mitchell came together quickly last week after the Knicks decided to give an extension to RJ Barrett, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com says in a HoopsHype discussion with Michael Scotto. The Cavs and Jazz held unproductive talks regarding Mitchell in July at the Las Vegas Summer League, but president of basketball operations Koby Altman reached out again after news leaked of Barrett’s extension, asking if Utah would accept a package that didn’t include Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley.

The resulting deal gives Cleveland four potential All-Stars who are under contract for the next three seasons, along with $2.5MM in remaining cap room to fill out the roster. Fedor notes that the Cavaliers have a history of keeping a roster spot open for flexibility, so the next move may not happen right away. He suggests Cleveland may try to package Caris LeVert or Cedi Osman along with second-round picks in an effort to trade for a reliable small forward.

Scotto points out that Collin Sexton was a big winner in the trade because he had to be re-signed before he could be sent to Utah. Scotto hears that Sexton’s new four-year, $72MM contract is far beyond what Cleveland would have offered to keep him. The Cavs had been unwilling to exceed the luxury tax threshold to re-sign Sexton or to attach assets in an Osman trade to clear more room below the tax to increase their offer to Sexton.

There’s more on the Cavaliers from Fedor and Scotto:

  • Kevin Love‘s expiring $28.9MM contract could be used for another major trade, but Fedor believes the team is more likely to keep Love and take advantage of the cap relief after the season. Love accepted a reserve role under coach J.B. Bickerstaff last season and is well-liked in the locker room. Scotto can see him re-signing next summer for roughly the mid-level exception.
  • The Cavs brought back Ricky Rubio on a multiyear contract because they aren’t certain how much he’ll be able to play this season, according to Fedor. Rubio was examined by the team’s medical staff recently, and there’s still no timetable for him to return from the ACL tear he suffered last December. Fedor hears that Rubio might be ready in January or February, but the Cavaliers are mostly focused on getting a fully healthy season from him in 2023/24.
  • Cleveland wouldn’t turn down a LeBron James return after his current contract expires, but it would be on much different terms than when he came back in 2014, Fedor adds. Management feels good about the roster it has put together and wouldn’t be willing to give James the power that he typically demands.

Central Notes: Osman, Bitadze, Cunningham, Bulls

Cedi Osman believes the Cavaliers will “definitely” be contenders in the Eastern Conference following the trade for Donovan Mitchell, writes Edvinas Jablonskis of BasketNews. Osman commented on the deal in a press conference at EuroBasket, where he scored 25 points in today’s win over Bulgaria.

“Obviously, it’s a great addition to the team,” he said. “I believe that everybody [in the organization] is excited.”

With Mitchell and Darius Garland in the backcourt and Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley up front, Cleveland has four set starters heading into training camp. Osman, who had been a starter before transitioning to a reserve role over the past two seasons, will be in contention to join them.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Also taking part in EuroBasket is Pacers center Goga Bitadze, who is hoping for an increased role this season following the trade of Domantas Sabonis, per Tony East of Forbes. Bitadze hasn’t played more than 54 games in any of his three years with Indiana, and with Myles Turner still on hand, along with Jalen Smith, Isaiah JacksonOshae Brissett, Terry Taylor and Daniel Theis, Bitadze will still be in a fight for playing time. “It takes reps, it just takes playing in live games,” Bitadze said when asked what’s needed to improve as a player.
  • Cade Cunningham is hoping to take the next step after the most exciting season from any Pistons rookie since Grant Hill, states Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Cunningham was torrid after the All-Star break — averaging 21.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per night — and Langlois believes he’ll be in All-Star contention if he can continue that production this season.
  • The Cavaliers’ acquisition of Mitchell may push the Bulls down another notch in the Eastern Conference playoff race, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. After injuries led to a late fade last season, Chicago is counting on renewed health to advance past the first round of the playoffs, but it may not be enough considering the improved competition. Johnson cites the Celtics, Bucks, Sixers, Heat and Nets as the top teams in the East and says the Bulls will be fighting with the Cavs, Raptors and Hawks to avoid the play-in tournament.

More Than 30 NBA Players On Track To Suit Up For EuroBasket

The first EuroBasket tournament in five years will tip off in two weeks and there are currently 34 NBA players on track to participate in the event, representing 17 different countries, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops.net.

EuroBasket is a 24-team international basketball competition also known as the European Basketball Championship. It historically took place every two years, but that gap was recently adjusted to four years, emulating the FIBA World Cup schedule.

The last EuroBasket tournament was played in 2017 — the next one had been scheduled for 2021, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, after being played every two years since 1947, it has now been five years since the last EuroBasket tournament, easily the longest layoff since World War II.

It’s possible that some NBA players will be cut from their teams’ rosters or will have to drop out due to injuries or personal reasons before the event begins on September 1, but in general enthusiasm to participate in the long-awaited event appears high.

Here’s the list of NBAers currently set to play in EuroBasket, per Eurohoops:

There are also multiple NBA free agents on EuroBasket rosters, including French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and German guard Dennis Schröder.

A number of young NBA players, such as 2022 draftees Jeremy Sochan and Nikola Jovic, have dropped out to focus on getting ready for the 2022/23 season, while others, including Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Frank Ntilikina (France), were ruled out due to injuries.

Round robin play will begin on September 1, with each team facing the other five clubs in its group once. The top four teams in each group will advance to a 16-team bracket that begins on September 10. The final will take place on September 18, just over a week before NBA training camps get underway.

Cavs To Hold Player-Led Mini-Camp In Los Angeles

A number of Cavaliers players will meet next week in Los Angeles for a voluntary mini-camp, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who reports that All-Star guard Darius Garland and Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley are helping to organize the workouts.

Sources tell Fedor that the majority of Cavs players are expected to participate, though some of the team’s international players may not make it to L.A. due to overseas obligations, including to their national teams. That group includes Lauri Markkanen, Cedi Osman, and Raul Neto.

Collin Sexton also won’t be attending the mini-camp, since he’s still a restricted free agent and isn’t under contract with the Cavaliers, Fedor notes.

A number of clubs around the NBA hold voluntary offseason mini-camps to help improve team chemistry and to prepare for the season. As Fedor writes, LeBron James used to organize them during his Cleveland days, and handed off that responsibility to Kevin Love in recent years.

Love spoke at the end of the 2021/22 season about possibly holding a mini-camp in Austin or Nashville, according to Fedor, who says the possibility of player-led workouts taking place in Nashville next month remains on the table.

Cavs Rumors: Sexton, Luxury Tax, Osman, LeBron

The Cavaliers have “a lot of confidence” that restricted free agent Collin Sexton will be back with the team next season, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com told Jake Fischer during the latest episode of Fischer’s Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast.

As Fedor explains, there has been no indication that the Cavs are seriously exploring any sign-and-trade scenarios or that a suitor with cap room will make an aggressive play for Sexton, so it may just be a waiting game to see what kind of contract the former lottery pick ends up on.

As Fedor explains, when Sexton and the Cavs discussed an extension a year ago, they were exploring a Bogdan Bogdanovic-type contract — approximately $72MM over four years. However, after Sexton missed nearly all of 2021/22 due to a torn meniscus, the Cavs would like to get him back on a deal in the range of $12-14MM per year. Fedor has previously reported that the team put a three-year, $40MM offer on the table.

Given that agent Rich Paul is a tough negotiator and won’t want to accept a long-term deal that he believes is below market value, Fedor still believes the most likely scenario is that Sexton accepts his $7.2MM qualifying offer, which would allow him to reach unrestricted free agency next summer. However, both Fischer and Fedor believe that there’s a case to be made for Sexton accepting that three-year offer, since it would give him some financial security and would still put him on track to enter unrestricted free agency at age 26.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • It’s “very important” to the Cavs that they don’t go into luxury tax territory this season, per Fedor. “I had it put to me that it’s not happening, that they’re not willing to go into the luxury tax” Fedor said. Currently, the team has about $13MM in breathing room below the tax line, though if Sexton accepts the club’s current offer, that cushion would all but disappear. That proximity to the tax is one reason why Cleveland isn’t willing to go higher for Sexton at this point.
  • If Sexton re-signs with the Cavs, the team will need to trade or release a player on a standard contract before the regular season begins. Cedi Osman could be a trade candidate in that scenario, according to Fedor, who notes that the forward fell out of favor with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff near the end of last season. However, Fedor adds that the Cavs still value Osman and wouldn’t simply want to dump his salary. According to Fischer, the Timberwolves and Celtics are among the teams believed to have checked in on Osman in the past.
  • Noting that LeBron James will be a free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Lakers before then, Fedor and Fischer both suggest the Cavaliers wouldn’t close the door on the idea of another reunion with the star forward, as long as it’s on their terms. “Of course Cleveland would be open to a LeBron return, but it does seem like the Cavaliers made it very clear…that (they) would really only be open to that on a deal or in a situation that made sense for everyone,” Fischer said. “They would be adding LeBron as a piece into this rebuild, not handing over the keys to the franchise like they had done in the past.”
  • Fedor explored the LeBron speculation in more depth at Cleveland.com, writing that the Cavs “aren’t currently plotting a third go-around” with the former Finals MVP, but won’t rule it out either.

Central Notes: Sexton, Osman, Windler, DeRozan, Ingles

If the Cavaliers resolve their contractual differences with restricted free agent Collin Sexton, it will likely impact another player on a guaranteed contract, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes in his latest mailbag. Adding Sexton would put the team one over the 15-man roster limit.

The Cavaliers would prefer not waive Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade, who are on non-guaranteed deals. Instead, the team would likely look to move either Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler, perhaps in a trade with an asset or two attached to a team like Indiana or San Antonio, who have cap space.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • DeMar DeRozan felt the Bulls weren’t “ready for adversity” last season when injuries piled up, he told Draymond Green on his podcast (hat tip to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago). “We kind of fell apart. We lost ourselves obviously through health,” he said. “Regardless, I think I told one of the young guys after All-Star break, I said this is the moment when you see what teams are serious. He didn’t know what I meant by that. For us to hit the wall that we hit showed that we wasn’t ready for adversity.”
  • During the same podcast, DeRozan spoke of how criticism aimed at the Bulls for engineering a sign-and-trade with San Antonio fueled his highly productive season. He averaged a career-high 27.9 PPG. “My whole career has kind of been based off that (criticism). But I never let it bring me completely down. It knocked me down. But I got back up,” he said. “And for me, that moment of going to Chicago, I just told myself, ‘This is a new opportunity. I’m going to make the most out of it in every type of way.’”
  • The Bucks had plenty of other options with their taxpayer mid-level exception. So why did they choose Joe Ingles, who is recovering from a torn ACL? According to Eric Nehm of The Athletic, they felt Ingles was the most complete player available to them.

Central Notes: Cunningham, Duarte, Rubio, Osman

Pistons Rookie of the Year candidate Cade Cunningham played just eight minutes on Friday but he wasn’t injured. Head coach Dwane Casey gave Cunningham a chance to rest in the second game of a back-to-back, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart also only made cameo appearances.

A handful of other rotation players missed the game due to rest or injuries.

“It gave us the opportunity to play the young guys and that’s what we wanted to do,” Casey said. “If we were competing for a playoff position, they could have definitely gone out and played. But we wanted to make sure we didn’t risk anything.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pacers rookie guard Chris Duarte is unlikely to play the rest of the season, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Duarte has been dealing with a sore left toe since February and last played on March 15.
  • Don’t rule out a possible reunion between the Cavaliers and Ricky Rubio, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Rubio was a key part in their success before he tore his ACL and his expiring contract was traded, Fedor points out. Cleveland targeted Rubio last offseason but a reunion may depend on whether he’ll accept a one-year, prove-it deal after his latest knee injury.
  • Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman received two DNPs, then got a chance to reclaim a rotation spot. He responded with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes on Thursday, Fedor notes. “Cedi’s a good basketball player and we need him to be his best, so we can be our best,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.