LeBron James‘ second departure from Cleveland leaves a gaping void in the Cavaliers roster. His leadership and sheer greatness that he embodies on and off the court will be tremendously missed. However, the future of the Cavs is not as bleak as it looks, thanks to the phenomenal Las Vegas Summer League play of three youngsters.
Cedi Osman has taken the summer by storm. He dominated individual competition playing for the Turkish national team last month; with a number of chase-down blocks, it is safe to assume that the King has taught him well.
In Summer League, Osman simply picked up from where he left off in June. He showed nothing short of high energy and hustle, solid defense, and vastly improved shooting and handles. His last Summer League game, a 25-point, six-rebound, and six-assist showing, illustrated his potential to become an all-around player. To assume that Osman could be the next (right-handed) Manu Ginobili is not as far-fetched as one may think.
Collin Sexton was selected in this year’s NBA draft, and the Cavs have high expectations for him. With a stat line of 19.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game in Summer League, he certainly impressed many. His elite athleticism had him whizzing past defenders; he demonstrated a great ability to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line; and he had a solid midrange pull-up jumper.
And on the other end of the floor, Sexton showed that he can be a wonderful two-way player with his superb defensive play and hustle. No one drafted ahead of Sexton averaged more points in the Vegas Summer League. Potential rookie of the year? It would not be surprising.
Similarly, Ante Zizic made some major noise in Summer League. Both he and Osman stood up as two players who outclassed their competition. In the two games he played, Zizic averaged 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, and his advanced footwork in the post stood out in particular. The fact that he’s a center scoring with ease without a three-point shot makes it all the more impressive. Big Z 2.0 might be here, folks.
So it makes sense why recent reports have been saying the Cavs won’t trade Osman, Sexton, or Zizic. Quite frankly, that’s the right thing to do. Three young players with extremely high potential who have been balling out can only benefit by playing alongside each other and developing chemistry.
The future looks bright for the Cavs, and the upcoming season is definitely something to look forward to.