Blog Entry

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:24 am
Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi says he is ready for a change of scenery. Posted by Ben Golliver. omri-casspi

The only thing more demoralizing than riding the pine while your team goes 22-54 is the thought that you could be stuck in the same spot next season. 

That's where Kings forward Omri Casspi finds himself as the clock winds down on Sacramento's season. Casspi's minutes and shots are slightly down this season, his second year in the NBA, and he's not sure how or where he fits into Kings coach Paul Westphal's plans. reports that Casspi, the first Israeli ever to play in the NBA, expressed frustrations with his current situation in an Israeli publication, stopping just short of publicly demanding a trade.
"I know that there are many teams, including some playoff teams, that want me ahead of next season." Casspi wrote. "I hope to find myself in a team that appreciates me as a player and a person, a team that plays like a team. 
"I still don't know if I will definitely not be continuing with the Kings. I've got a contract and love the fans, the city, the owner and the general manager. But things haven't worked out and that is legitimate.
"Clearly the current situation is not ideal for the team and for me. There are other teams wich suit me better and since I have an excellent relationship with the players and the staff, I hope that they appreciate me enough to let me leave for a place where I can play basketball."
Casspi faces a very similar situation to what Portland Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez dealt with in recent years. While he's stuck on Sacramento's bench and might not be a key cog in Westphal's rotation, he's a difficult piece for management to part with via trade. He's young (22 years old), he's shown toughness and flashes on offense, his best basketball is still ahead of him and, perhaps most importantly, he's locked into an affordable rookie deal that runs through 2012-2013 at least. Although he might not be receiving the A+ treatement from Westphal, he represents a highly-prized asset for management.

Even if Casspi wasn't planning for the cash-strapped Maloof family, most teams would look at Casspi's $1.3 million contract next season and think that he is a player worth retaining. Casspi averages 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 24 minutes this season. Is he capable of more if given a larger role? Sure, most bench players are. But patience is a virtue here: There's no guarantee Westphal will be around next season, let alone for the long haul. How many times have we seen a player's fortune change under a new coaching regime? Too many to count.

While Casspi is almost certainly correct in stating that many teams are interested in him, that doesn't necessarily mean they are willing or able to give the Kings equal value for his services. Indeed, trading away a player on his rookie deal is no easy task because teams are more likely to decide to wait and make things work rather than risk watching a cheap, young player blossom elsewhere.

Is Casspi stuck in Sacramento? Definitely not. But he'd do well to acknowledge the possibility that he could be there for awhile and to realize that his situation is likely not as bad as it seems right now.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 6, 2011 12:47 am

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

If Anahiem can make hockey work, baseketball will be fine.....

Trade this guy, don't trade him..I'm sure he's not in there long term plans anyways, he could be a decent role guy elsewhere.....why are we talking trades this time of year though?I thought this was a time of year safe of that , wait til the offseason.He's not a player of any significance that should be talked about when teams are battling for playoff spots.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:31 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

Who cares? Why write a story about a non-story subject? Casspi is a terrible player, no one wants him except maybe Cleveland, they'll take anybody.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:26 pm

A Sacramentan's (cont)

p.s. -- I won't be a King's fan after the move to Anaheim, but i won't be a hater either. I liked where you guys were headed, but the fact is, the only chance you have for a Championship is to get to a bigger market so that the NBA ref corp and NBA leaderstern, er leadership, won't rob you of a legitimate chance at winning like in the early 2000's. Good luck when you get there, tho. Peace out.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:20 pm

A Sacramentan's view

Just hang in there Omri. This team is on the verge of being one of the elite next year the same way Miami got there this year. You'll have new digs (Anaheim) to play in, new scenery (can you say Pacific coast bikinis?) every day off, and more playing time either with or immediately off the bench behind better players. I only see about 4 players on this roster next year: Evans, Cousins, Thornton, and you. Maybe Dalambert too. After that, forget it. Greene, Thompson, Udrih, and Garcia are all either done making their case or too fragile to keep for the dollars. the rest of 'em? Fuhgetabowtit. Tough it out for a bit longer and see where it goes....

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 8:53 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

One of the (many) problems in Sacramento (er...anaheim?) is Westphal. I had expected better, but he just isn;t a good coach. Casspi has huge upside, and in the right situation....say in Memphis or Portland or even a re-building team with a sound front office (Denver !!) he would be a solid asset. More than solid in fact. He has size, is quick enough laterally to defend pretty well, and he's very tough. His offense will never be huge, but I can see him scoring 13 a game and grabbing 8 boards and playing solid D.  He's still young and needs a coach who can help with his development. That coach isnt Westphal, and the Kings (er, Royals?) look to become the new Clippers. Its too bad.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 4:13 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

Casspi isn't going anywhere, unless he somehow can opt out and play in Europe. He is the very definition of what the "Royals" are looking for. He's young, effective, and cheap (makes nearly the minimum salary). Although he is a solid player, I don't think anyone would be willing to trade anything of value for him. If he was really that unhappy, perhaps a mid to late first rounder would do, but I would keep him if I had the choice. Late first rounders have the potential to bomb out of their guaranteed contracts, and Casspi has proven he can play in the NBA.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:17 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

Casspi does need a change of scenery, but its doubtful he'll get it.  He's frustrating from a fantasy position as well because when he gets real playing time he usually puts up good numbers across the board.  The problem with Westphal and the Kings is they are a collection of players, not a team.  Tyreke Evans, Demarcus Cousins and Marcus Thornton leave little ball for others to play with.  None of them is a team player or plays defense.  So without team leaders that play defense the only other option is the run and gun, which really doesn't suit a team player like Casspi.  Unfortunately, the GM just picked up Evans, Cousins and Thornton so it's obvious they are the players they want to build around.  Sacramento, er Anaheim, won't be good for a long time until they get some leadership on the team.  And, quite frankly, it starts with the coach.

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:04 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

I'd be frustrated too under Westphal and his merry-go-round rotations, but look at the writing on the wall Omri.  A. The Kings are moving out of Sacramento and B. Westphal won't be around.....stop whining and prove yourself when you do get court time and work to get to the point that the next coach has no choice but make you the starting 3.....though his comment about "playing as a team"...with Demarcus and Tyreke, that's never going to happen with the Kings unless somebody slaps both of them with their $#@& and they get a point guard who teaches them how to run plays and be where they're supposed to be in said plays.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 2:39 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

Yeah he needs to quit bitching, or go back to wherever the f*ck he played before he came to AMERICA!

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 2:26 pm

Kings F Omri Casspi shops for a new team

These players should think about what they are doing before coming over seas and signing a deal. Yes in America when we have a contract we are not just play contracting, its the real deal. When will people ever learn to grow up and fulfill their obligations?? If the average Joe tried this, their employer would let them go and hire the next college grad that is out of work.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or