Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman has been on a tear recently, averaging over 20 points per game in his last five games with three games tallying at least 20 points from the field in that stretch.
His play and the fanfare that surrounds him, from his teammates to opposing players and from the States to Europe, has been recognized by the NBA with the second-year pro selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.
— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) January 30, 2019
Osman, a native of Macedonia, will play for the World Team — a collection of the league’s best international talents.
Phoenix Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton (the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft), Dallas Mavericks rookie sensation Luka Doncic (the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft), Chicago Bulls second-year power forward Lauri Markannen and Philadelphia 76ers second-year point guard Ben Simmons are a few of the more notable players that will be Osman’s teammates during the Rising Stars Challenge.
On the opposing side, Osman will be facing off against players like Boston Celtics second-year forward Jayson Tatum, Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young, Los Angeles Lakers second-year point guard Lonzo Ball and Utah Jazz second-year guard Donovan Mitchell.
Former franchise cornerstone Kyrie Irving will be an honorary coach for the U.S. Team.
Osman has averaged 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.7 steals per game this season, while shooting 41.6 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three-point range and 79.2 percent from the charity stripe.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, rookie point guard Collin Sexton wasn’t invited to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge. His counting numbers haven’t been too shabby, with the 19-year-old averaging 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range, numbers superior to players like Josh Okogie and OG Anunoby, who were selected to play for Team World.
They’re even arguably superior to Ball’s, though Ball — as do a few other of the participants — has a higher basketball IQ than Sexton.
Osman received well-deserved recognition on Tuesday but the rook may have just gotten robbed.