Cedi Osman

Central Notes: Love, Mitchell, Bulls, Ingles

Don’t expect Kevin Love to be on the move before this season’s trade deadline, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes in a subscriber-only mailbag. While the Cavaliers will likely peruse the trade market in search of a small forward upgrade, Love’s cap hit of nearly $29MM makes him unlikely to be dealt, according to Fedor, who points to Cedi Osman and Caris LeVert as more logical trade candidates for the team.

The Cavaliers and Love actually have mutual interest in extending their relationship beyond 2022/23, sources tell Fedor. Love will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and Fedor wouldn’t be surprised if the veteran power forward ends up re-signing with Cleveland at that point on a “more reasonable number that works for both sides.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Cavaliers will be without Donovan Mitchell for a second consecutive night on Saturday due to right lower leg soreness, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link). Love, who is battling low back soreness, will also miss his second straight game.
  • The Bulls have no interest in acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Lakers, even if it means adding multiple draft picks, a source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. While Cowley doesn’t explicitly say so, this report appears to be a response to the rumor about the Lakers internally discussing whether Chicago might become open to the idea of moving DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic for Westbrook and draft assets. Cowley acknowledges that the Bulls’ thinking could change before the February trade deadline, but says the focus for now is getting Lonzo Ball back and pushing for a playoff spot.
  • Bucks forward Joe Ingles, who continues to work his way back from an ACL tear, has been assigned to the Wisconsin Herd for a second time for practice reps, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Jordan Nwora and rookie MarJon Beauchamp were also sent to the Herd, Nehm notes.

Central Notes: Osman, LaVine, Middleton, Matthews, Pistons

Cedi Osman has received sporadic playing time and has been the subject of trade rumors but the Cavaliers forward has usually taken advantage of his opportunities, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes.

After playing just seven minutes against Charlotte on Friday, Osman got 37 minutes of court action the next night against Miami and put up 20 points and 12 rebounds. He’s likely to receive plenty of playing time on Monday with Caris LeVert out due to an ankle sprain.

“He’s one of those guys where there’s a spirit and an energy that we depend on, and we know the lift he gives us,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “I think Friday night he didn’t play as much, and I think he wanted to show he was going to take advantage of his minutes.”

Osman’s future beyond 2022/23 is uncertain, as his salary for next season isn’t guaranteed.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Zach LaVine said there’s no ill feelings between him and Bulls coach Billy Donovan, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. LaVine was upset when he was benched during a loss to Orlando on Friday. “Me and Billy talk all the time,” LaVine said. “It’s a tough decision. Obviously, I’m a competitive guy. I want to play. I just told him I feel like I’ve earned the right to go out there and try to play through a bad game. His decision was to try to do the best thing for the team, which I respect. If we won, obviously I would’ve been ecstatic. We lost, I wasn’t. I had a terrible game.”
  • The Bucks assigned Khris Middleton and Wesley Matthews to the G League’s Wisconsin Herd, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. That allowed the rehabbing players to get some practice time. The Bucks didn’t practice since they’re playing against Portland on Monday.
  • The Pistons played without three injured starters — Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart — at Sacramento on Sunday and lost despite scoring a season-high 129 points. Coach Dwane Casey said the team needs to push through adversity, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “It’s not ‘Woe is me’ right now in the locker room,” Casey said. “We’ve got to stay together, stay connected.”

Central Notes: Garland, Osman, Burks, Turner

Cavaliers All-Star point guard Darius Garland, still dealing with a left eyelid laceration, is not expected by head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to return to Cleveland’s lineup for its contest against the Magic tomorrow, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link).

“He’s doing stuff on the floor now, breaking a sweat,” Bickerstaff said. “Again, time will tell how far the swelling goes down and how quickly.”

Thus far this year, Garland’s only on-court action has come during the Cavaliers’ opener last Wednesday. He was only available for 13 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers small forward Cedi Osman is fitting into the niche role head coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants him to fulfill this season, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I know what J.B. expects of me every night,” Osman told Fedor last Saturday. “Most importantly, he expects energy and defensive effort from me every time I’m on the floor. I’m aware of that. I’m capable of doing it.” Bickerstaff added, “What we have told Cedi is he is not a make-or-miss player,” he said. “He is a two-way impact guy… We will never take him out for missing a shot because he has the ability to be a sparkplug on both ends of the floor.”
  • Journeyman Pistons shooting guard Alec Burks, still working through a fractured left navicular bone, has been scrimmaging with teammates in three-on-three and four-and-four practices, per Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. Curtis adds that Burks is expected to slot in as a reserve playmaker when he does fully recover. “He’s still a ways away,” Detroit head coach Dwane Casey said. “Not putting a timetable on it. He’s getting some work in, but nothing live.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner, who has yet to suit up for Indiana while dealing with a sprained left ankle, has had his status upgraded to questionable ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Bulls, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Agness adds that Turner practiced with the Pacers today.

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.