The San Antonio Spurs have not gotten off to the start most had hoped for thus far this season. That’s a universal truth. Each player must be better, and the team and its lineups are still trying to develop continuity among each other. While several players have only provided fleeting periods of quality play, other players have continuously surprised early this season.
Coach Popovich is also still trying to put forth the best lineup possible, and with the Silver and Black at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, different players should see more time moving forward. To be frank, several players have not met expectations to begin the season but that is not the case for every member of San Antonio's squad.
3. Cedi Osman
Cedi Osman has been a pleasant surprise for the Silver and Black so far this season. Osman was drafted early in the second round by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015 and was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a draft-night deal that same night. The 6’7” forward made his debut with Cleveland in 2017, playing his first six seasons there.
The Spurs acquired Osman as part of a three-team trade this past July. Initially seen as an expiring contract at the end of the season, he has taken the opportunity to insert himself as an impact veteran off the bench for this team.
Osman has played in 20 games for San Antonio this season, averaging a workman-like 8.2 points per game to go along with 2 rebounds per game and 1.5 assists per game. These are not mind-blowing numbers by any stretch, but they’ve given the team a spark and a reliable member of the second unit.
Beyond the stats, Osman’s campaign looks even better. Cedi’s shooting percentages are up across the board from the previous season, as he’s shooting 46% from the field and 39% from three-point range while maintaining a free throw percentage of almost 79%.
The Macedonian swingman's numbers look more than serviceable over a 36-minute per-game projection as well. Averages of 15.2 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists show Cedi is having a quality season.
Osman received an opportunity early in the season when the Spurs were still searching for continuity across their units. He took the ball and ran (proverbially, because that’s traveling) and has cemented himself as a dependable rotation player for this team.