Omri Casspi Trade Rumors
Casspi rumored to be going to Chicago or New York
Israel’s greatest NBA import, Omri Casspi, is apparently being discussed in trade negotiations between the Sacramento Kings and either the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks.
The Kings, a team which seemed on the rise last year after an influx of great young talent, has now taken a major step back and is headed back to the NBA Lottery. Casspi, one of the feel good stories of last year’s season, it one of the Kings greatest trading assets.
From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
"The Bulls, in particular, like Casspi not only for his ability to shoot but also his experience in pressure situations after playing at the highest levels of the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel-Aviv as well as his defensive potential, believing that the energetic swingman would develop nicely on D under the guidance of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. The bonus: Casspi is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range this season – up from 36.9 percent as a rookie – to further squelch his pre-draft rep as a non-shooter.
Yet there are obstacles for interested parties. Casspi is also a favorite of Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. Sources say Sacramento, furthermore, would likely insist on attaching a long-term contract from the Kings’ roster (such as Francisco Garcia’s) for the right to acquire Casspi, who’s earning a bargain $1.25 million this season. That could dissuade both the Bulls and the Knicks, with New York especially mindful of preserving salary-cap space for the summer."
Casspi’s relationship with Knicks superstar Amar’e Stoudemire is well known. Following Amar’e trip to Israel this summer, Cappi and him were in close contact and have developed a good friendship. Should Casspi be traded to the Knicks, he will quickly become one of the top fan favorites as New York hasn’t had a Jewish player since the early years of the NBA.