Leap Ahead

2015 NBA Draft prospect Cedi Osman has the League intrigued by his potential.
by April 07, 2015
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cedi_osman

Cedi Osman moved from Bosnia to Turkey with his family after being discovered by staff from Andalou Efes in Istanbul. He signed a youth team contract with Andalou in 2007 at the age of 13 and signed a professional contract with the team after turning 18 in 2012. Osman has grown both physically and as a player and is now being considered as a possible selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.

We’ve scouted Osman, via NetScouts Basketball, since 2011 when he averaged 12.3 ppg at the U16 European Championships in the Czech Republic. At that point Osman was more of a combination guard. Since then he has grown to 6-8 and is projected as more of a “2-3.” Last summer Osman led Turkey to the gold medal at the U20 European Championships in Greece where he averaged 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 10 games. He was voted the top player at the event. As a result Osman’s stock dramatically rose and he started to get looks at the NBA level.

Osman has been playing on the Andalou Efes Istanbul top team for the past two seasons. He got his feet wet last year and averaged 5.3 points and 2.6 rebounds coming off the bench. This season he has played over 21 minutes per game and has increased his numbers to 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in the Turkish League and 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game over 20 Euroleague contests. Osman has two more years remaining on his Andalou contract, but has shown enough skill to warrant being selected in this year’s NBA Draft and possibly spending at least one more year developing in Turkey. Osman will turn 20 this April and can use some time refining his game and adding strength.

I caught up with Osman recently, and he indicated to me that he would be entering his name into the 2015 NBA Draft.  In talking about his strengths and weaknesses, Osman responded, “My defense is a strength as I have fast footwork and fast hands. I’m also good in offensive rebounding, and in pushing the ball after I get a rebound in the transition offense. I hit a good percentage of my open shots but need to be more consistent. My weaknesses are shooting off the dribble and working with the pick and roll.”

Osman understands he needs to get stronger and improve his overall shooting, particularly improving from long range. His three-point numbers have improved this season to the low 30 percent range after being consistently in the low-to-mid 20 percent range previously. That’s a good sign. He still needs to refine his shooting mechanics.

Osman’s game appears to meld well with the NBA game. As he noted, “My playing style is more suited to an NBA-style transition game than in the slower European pace.”

He’s athletic, a good defender with quick feet and hands, and a decent rebounder for his size. Rebounding should improve as he gains strength. He sees the floor very well on both ends, tending the make the right play at most times, looking for the open man on offense and getting into passing lanes on defense. Osman seems to have a willingness to work on improving the skills he needs to ultimately succeed at the NBA level. Playing in the NBA is a goal Osman has had for quite awhile and it looks like that will happen sooner rather than later. Expect Osman to be a second-round 2015 NBA draft pick and to make his NBA debut in the 2016 or 2017 season.

Carl Berman is Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball, the largest basketball scouting service in the world.