The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Omri Casspi is falling further into NBA obscurity as he is receiving even less playing time under head coach Byron Scott. Casspi was acquired from Sacramento when they dealt J.J. Hickson for him. He was the starter at small forward to start the 2011-12 campaign but was coming off the bench halfway through the season. Now it seems like he can’t wait to get out of Ohio.
Casspi spent a good portion of this past summer working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas addressing the areas of his game Cavs head coach Byron Scott said would lead to a more solidified spot in the rotation this season.
However, Casspi is now even further down the depth chart and averaging a career-low 13 minutes per game. The forward is a bit confused by this development after believing he had an understanding with Scott.
“Most of the stuff [coach Scott] told me to work on, I did,” Casspi said to HOOPSWORLD. “I worked on them during the summer. During the season we make the little adjustments we need to make. But other than that we need to just focus on the team perspective. But we worked on my jump shot and other stuff I needed to do this summer.
“I just try to do my job and step by step get more and more minutes. The way to do it is by keep working hard and doing what I need to do on both ends of the floor.”
That’s all Casspi can really do. When called upon, he’ll have to play well to earn himself more minutes. While I feel it’s a little weird that Alonzo Gee is starting over Casspi, working hard is the only way for him to get noticed.
Casspi insists that his decreased playing time won’t be a distraction to the team, as he told HoopsWorld. But he’s not going to beat behind the bush about his immediate future, either. More from HoopsWorld:
“I’m looking forward to free agency to see what’s going to happen and see what [deals] are out there,” Casspi said. “I’m pretty confident where I’m at.”
That doesn’t mean he won’t return to Cleveland. It’s still only December and a lot can happen between now and July. Teams can always use a good 3-point marksman, though, and Casspi fits the bill. He struggled mightily in 2011-12 when he shot .315 from behind the arc but this season, he’s made 16-31 (.516). He’s a career .364 shooter from deep.
However, he is 6’9″ and he can stand to be a better defender and a little bit better on rebounding. Hopefully, he can continue to improve on those so that he’ll look more attractive in the free agent market. In the meantime, Omri Casspi will have to wait his turn.
Casspi is averaging 6.0 points and 2.4 boards this season for Cleveland.