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Cedi Osman using friendship with LeBron James to help Cleveland Cavaliers rebuild

Watch Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks on NBA Primetime live on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday at 8:15pm

Friday 22 March 2019 11:29, UK

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Cedi Osman #16 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a game on November 21, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 1:55
Cleveland Cavaliers prospect Cedi Osman has revealed how a close friendship with former team-mate LeBron James has helped his development in the NBA

Cedi Osman says his friendship with LeBron James is helping him take his young NBA career to the next level and restore the fortunes of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs have struggled in the post-LeBron era. Since losing him to the Lakers last year, they have gone from NBA finalists to second bottom in the Eastern Conference.

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Wednesday night's home win over a league-leading Milwaukee Bucks missing starters Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon was only their 19th win of the season.

Cedi Osman #16 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes to the basket against the New York Knicks on February 28, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. 1:59
Cedi Osman starred in the Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the New York Knicks

But Osman himself is one of the reasons for Cavaliers fans to be optimistic. After cutting his NBA teeth as a reserve behind James last year, he has established himself as one of the most important players on the team this season, alongside Kevin Love and Collin Sexton, averaging 13.1 points in over 31 minutes per game

And he says fans should be patient with a young team that will only get better.

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"We are a really young team that has got a little bit of experience," the 23-year-old told Sky Sports.

"Besides the older players we have, there is me, Larry [Nance Jr], JC [Jordan Clarkson], Ante Zizic; it was the first time being in the playoffs for us last year.

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"We have Collin [Sexton] now, but we are still a young team. We have a lot of things that we can take as a positive, win or lose it doesn't matter, there is a lot of things we take as a lesson and I know we are going to be a really good team in a couple of years.

"We just need a little bit of time because if you look at Philly, a couple of years ago they were in the same spot and now they are playing for the championship, so we just need a little bit of time."

Cedi Osman's late scoring helped the Cavs to victory
Image: Cedi Osman has become a crucial part of Cleveland's team

When asked about his friendship with LeBron, the Turkish forward, who was taken in the second round by Minnesota in 2015, said: "It's really important. I didn't know I was going to be really close with LeBron.

"I knew that we were going to be team-mates but I didn't know that we were going to be this close. We have a really good friendship.

Sunday night's games

  • Los Angeles Clippers @ New York Knicks, 4pm
  • Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks, 8:15pm, live on Sky Sports Arena
  • Denver Nuggets @ Indiana Pacers, 9pm
  • Charlotte Hornets @ Toronto Raptors, 10pm
  • Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans, 11pm
  • San Antonio Spurs @ Boston Celtics, 11:30pm
  • Detroit Pistons @ Golden State Warriors, 12:30am
  • Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers, 1:30am

"Whenever I text him he always texts me back and if I have a bad game and I ask him for something he always gives me some advice and is always ready to help me and I really appreciate that."

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