During the 2018-2019 season, I wrote about the positive development for the young core of Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman. As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their renaissance, Sexton and Osman will be tested to prove their viability as starters.
Last season was a lost cause for the Cavaliers organization. The front office underwent a coaching change and roster moves, the majority of which left Cleveland depleted of talent and stability. The injuries didn’t help much, either.
Given the Cavaliers current roster, it’s safe to assume Sexton will start at one of the guard positions. While Cleveland wants to ease him into a starting role, rookie Darius Garland could find his way into the starting lineup sooner than later. Right now, Sexton should start at either point guard or shooting guard.
Back in April, Chris Fedor of cleveland.com wrote about several topics, including Sexton’s role with the Cavaliers going forward. This was before the organization hired John Beilein as their head coach, but still worth researching.
“It’s also possible that Sexton steps into that primary bench-scorer role in the future. Some in the organization believe that will eventually suit him best,” Fedor wrote.
Sexton’s future as a starter
For the first 10 games of his career, Sexton came off the bench. It was obvious the rookie had his struggles early on. The organization’s mishandling of their coaching situation didn’t help matters much. In the games coming off the bench, Sexton averaged 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Once the roster began to shift, Sexton’s role increased dramatically. By season’s end, Sexton averaged 16.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. To further explain Sexton’s development, it should be noted the rookie appeared in all 82 games, starting in 72 of them.
Since the Cavaliers will employ Beilein’s three-point style offense, Sexton would fit in perfectly. As a rookie, he averaged over 40% from behind-the-arc, 43% total from the field. While his assist numbers aren’t where a point guard should be, Sexton can still move to the shooting guard position without any struggles.
If the Cavaliers decide to start Garland at point guard, Sexton should transition well alongside him. While veterans Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Knight and Matthew Dellavedova can provide significant minutes to relieve the young core’s workload, the team should still start players like Sexton on a regular basis. Whether it’s at the point guard or shooting guard position, Sexton should start in the Cavaliers rotation.
What about Osman?
Towards the end of the 2018-2019 campaign, Osman flashed signs of improvement and consistency. It’s no secret; however, Osman struggled for the majority of the season. In the 76 games Osman appeared in last season, he started all but one of them.
Last season, he averaged 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. While he struggled, Osman finished the season with viable statistics. Osman did finish toward the bottom of the league in three-point shooting (34.8%).
I published an article last season detailing Osman’s steady improvement, especially with his scoring. While he still finished with a meager 34.8% average from three-point range, it was a drastic step up from the first half of the 2018-2019 season.
Given the Cavaliers roster upgrades, especially with late first-round selections Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr., Osman could eventually be relegated to a bench role if his game doesn’t continue to improve. If last season told us anything, we shouldn’t worry too much about improvement.
If Beilein decided to increase Windler and Porter Jr.’s minutes, Osman could see a slight decrease in playing time. He’ll likely start the season as the Cavaliers starting small forward, but things can change quickly.
Quick predictions for Sexton and Osman
Since the Cavaliers will go younger as the team develops, Sexton and Osman should see significant minutes. While it’s a topic to think about, there should be no reason to believe these two won’t be starters for much of the 2019-2020 season.
The rookies: Garland, Windler and Porter Jr., will challenge everyone’s minutes this season, as they should. While it’s far too soon to predict, Windler could definitely start several games for the Cavaliers next season.
Sexton and Osman should have no problem worrying about their starting roles in the near future. If both players continue to steadily improve like last season, there shouldn’t be any worries at all.
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