NBA Player Omri Casspi Needs a Change of Scene
For the sake of his career, Casspi needs to get traded again
With the shortened 2011-2012 NBA season winding down, and the Cleveland Cavaliers all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it’s time to look at how Omri Casspi, the NBA’s first-ever Israeli born player, fared with his new team.
To say that it’s been a tough season would be an understatement to say the least. Casspi, one of the most promising rookies in 2009-2010 has regressed each year since.
When Casspi was drafted 23rd overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, he became the first Israeli to be selected in the first round of the draft, and, ultimately, with his debut with the Kings in 2009, Casspi became the first Israeli to play in an NBA game.
And Casspi’s first year did not dissapoint. Averaging over 10 points a game and showing a three point shooting touch that few expected, Casspi was a top-five rookie candidate all year.
Since then, however, the affable Israeli who starred in his home country with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Galil Elyon, before coming to North America, has failed to show the promise of his rookie season. After a slight drop-off in point production and rebounds in his second year, Casspi was traded from the Kings to the Cavs for J.J. Hickson and a 2012 first round pick (protected). Under a new system, new teammates, and a new coach in Byron Scott, Casspi has continued to drop in point production (7 points per game), rebounds (3.5 per game) and shooting percentage, which is the worst of his career so far.
A starter at the beginning of the year, Casspi lost his spot to rookie Alonzo Gee.
Sadly, his name was made more famous this year not for what he has done on court, but for a proposed Israeli legislative bill called the “Omri Casspi Bill” which would allow Israeli citizens abroad to vote.
At 23 years old, Casspi is still very young and holds great potential to be an impactful starter or 6th man, but for a brighter future and to recapture his early promise, he needs to get away from the pressures of trying to take the reigns of a team once owned – body and soul – by Lebron James, and eave the “The Mistake by the Lake”. A trade to Toronto, New York, or Miami, where a huge Jewish fan base would be only too happy to open their arms to this potential 6’9” mashiach whose collective love, support and probably more than one invitation to a home-cooked Shabbat meal, just might bring Casspi’s confidence to a high level and get his NBA career back on track.
Not all is bad though. Casspi did have two highlight worth plays during the year, both of which are below: