When the Kings take the court this afternoon versus the Cavilers, it’ll be the only time we King fans see Omri Casspi take on his former squad as the Cavs don’t travel to Sacramento during this lockout shortened season.
The pre-draft trade which sent Omri Casspi and a heavily protected first round pick to Cleveland in exchange for J.J. Hickson was welcomed in open arms among the black and purple faithful, despite Casspi’s strong community influence.
As the old adage goes – you never trade big for small. To essentially exchange a young small forward for a young power forward? That’s a win right there. Or was it?
For Casspi, his debut season in Cleveland has been anything but pleasant. Between the sporadic playing time and continued bickering between he and head coach Byron Scott, the first Israeli born NBA player has struggled in 11-12′s opening half, posting career lows across the board in his 22 minutes a game.
For Hickson, who many thought was to be Cleveland’s post-Lebron savior (or at least something on that order) – the move West hasn’t been as pleasant as he’d have preferred either.
Despite playing three minutes less per game than Casspi, the fourth year power forward has averaged a putrid 5.2 points a game – nearly 2.5 less than Casspi’s equally rough 7.8. The shooting percentages? Like trying to shoot baskets at your local roadside carnival with their over inflated balls – Casspi continually inching closer t0 40%, currently at 41.8% while Hickson hasn’t been able to crack to 40% plateau, currently sitting at 38% – despite having a 48.5% career clip.
For the Kings, one could assume they won the trade simply off value – Hickson would most clearly be the favored asset between the two in another potential trade scenario (one could assume, at least) – but what about that draft pick?
The pick is protected from pick 1 through 13 in this year’s draft and in 2013. It’s protected 1-12 in 2014 and 1-10 in 2015 and 2016. If it’s not sent to the Cavs by 2017, it becomes a second-round pick.
For the Cavs, they still have two years of Omri Casspi left – a third if a qualifying offer is extended for 2013-14. For Hickson and the Kings, their time runs out this year – or after next if a qualifying offer is extended to JJ (which it will be, barring some oddities).
Not very long ago, both Hickson and Casspi were viewed as two young prospects who certainly had the tools and skill sets to make significant impacts on their then said franchises. A couple years later and a trade which swapped them both, they find themselves playing the worst basketball of their young careers and both teams wondering if they can hit the reset button.