Cavaliers ‘Dangling’ Fan-Favorite as Search for Roster Upgrades Continue: Report

Cedi Osman Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Caris LeVert #3 comes into the game for Cedi Osman #16 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Who is the most likely member of the Cleveland Cavaliers to depart ahead of next week’s trade deadline? If we’re talking salary matching for a splashy deal, the answer is obvious: Kevin Love. If Cavs are more interested in moving an expiring veteran contract, perhaps it’s Caris LeVert. And if Cleveland wants to land anyone who is a cut-above league average, former top-five pick Isaac Okoro would likely find his way out of town. So which (or more appropriately, who) is it?

According to one insider, none of the above.

In a recent report from Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the Cavaliers have made Cedi Osman very much available in trade talks, even more so than LeVert.

“It’s become pretty evident that the Cavs are seeking a wing, and league sources have told Hoops Wire they are dangling Cedi Osman more than Caris LeVert in search of some help,” Amico wrote.

Osman is quietly one of the longest-tenured Cavaliers players still in Lake Erie. Since joining the team in 2017, he’s watched Cleveland reinvent itself from a club wholly dependent on LeBron James to one thriving on uber-talented youth in the form of Evan Mobley, Donovan Mitchell, and Darius Garland.

As a result of Cleveland’s sudden relevance, Osman’s time on the floor has decreased. He’s yet to start a game, and his 21 minutes per night is his lowest mark since his rookie season. Nonetheless, he’s shooting the ball as well as last season (35.7% from deep), albeit on less volume.

An Osman-Centric Trade Proposal for the Cavs

In addition to his $8 million owed this season, Osman is set to make another $6 million next season. As such, he’s an under-the-radar option for salary matching in a proposed trade.

And in one such deal proposed by Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Cavs land their wing upgrade in a guy who stopped in for a cup of coffee on Lake Erie back in 2018: Alec Burks.

“So we’re gonna go to Detroit. And there’s another guy on their team who I really like who is a former Cleveland Cavalier,” Swartz said. “And if you want guys who can shoot, guys who can defend multiple positions, wings with size, give me Alec Burks back on the Cavaliers. That’s what I’d like to see. He’s got a really good salary number, he’s only at ten million dollars. Again, I’m looking for guys that I can bring into the Cavs who I don’t have to trade Kevin Love’s contract for, Caris LeVert’s contract for.”

In exchange for Burks, Swartz suggested parting ways with two of Cleveland’s current wing options: Osman and Dylan Windler.

“I hate to do this to Cedi Osman . . . but for a guy that’s borderline in the rotation right now, I would move him in a deal like this. . . . We’re also going to add in Dylan Windler’s four million dollar expiring deal,” Swartz concluded.

Swartz further opined Cleveland would likely need to throw in two second-round picks to truly move the needle for Detroit, adding that it’s unlikely the Pistons land a first for Burks.

Windler to be Used as Trade Fodder?

As Swartz noted, Dylan Windler’s salary could also be used as a decent salary-matching option for a deal. That was backed up in fact by Amico, who also reported that Windler is being considered a “throw-in” by the Cavaliers.

“The Cavs could potentially use Dylan Windler as a ‘throw-in’ in a trade, sources added,” Amico noted.

Windler has yet to play this season as he recovers from an ankle injury.

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