Omri Casspi hasn’t played much for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. And, apparently, he wants out. Here’s Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports with this report:
Dropped out of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rotation, forward Omri Casspi, the NBA’s first Israeli-born player, has requested a trade, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Casspi has shown significant flashes of promise in his young career, but he has become an afterthought for the struggling Cavaliers since missing five games with gastroenteritis in December.
It hasn’t been too great this season for Casspi. Alonzo Gee is now starting at small forward for Cleveland.
Casspi was reportedly looking forward to free agency after he wasn’t given more of a role for the Cavaliers after Cavs coach Byron Scott promised him he would if he worked hard in the summer. From last month in HoopsWorld:
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.”
Now Casspi isn’t even visible on the rotation anymore. While he can’t make public demands about trade requests without getting fined, his situation in Cleveland isn’t getting any better. He certainly didn’t hide his feelings about looking forward to free agency after he was asked about his immediate future.
Omri Casspi became the first Israeli player in the NBA after he was drafted 23rd overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2009 NBA Draft. He averaged a career-high 10.3 points per game in his rookie season before slowly falling off the radar. The Kings traded Casspi and a future first round pick to the Cavs for J.J. Hickson in the summer of 2011. Casspi is averaging a career-low 4.9 points in just over 13 minutes per contest this season.
If he doesn’t get traded, he can certainly go where he wants as a free agent. But in the meantime, he’s a Cleveland Cavalier waiting for his turn on the court.