Casspi Returns: Why Kings Wanted Him Back

Rather unexpectedly, Kings fans learned last Wednesday that the team was in contact with their 2009 first round pick, Omri Casspi. For those who remember, Casspi had a rather optimistic rookie season, averaging 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and close to 37% shooting from downtown in just 25 minutes per game. However, while his numbers didn’t tremendously drop, Casspi declined his sophomore year, earning a spot in then Coach Westphal’s “doghouse” towards the end of the season; organizational instability in addition to inconsistent playing time and competition from mediocre small forwards seemed to be a cause. That offseason Omri was dealt to Celveland along with a future first round pick (great move giving that away, Petrie!) in exchange for the devil himself, J.J. Hickson, in what was just the beginning in a chain of rather bizarre personnel moves that summer. I am pleasantly surprised to see that the Kings are bringing Casspi back:

In today’s NBA there is no such thing as having too many shooters. With little maneuvering room below the luxury tax line, Pete D’Alessandro has creatively found a cheap piece in bringing back the undervalued Casspi, nabbing him at the veteran’s minimum. Casspi is a stretch 3 or 4 who can run the floor and help create space for Cousins or Gay.

 “Couldn’t [the Kings] use a stretch forward who can hit a three and loves to run? I think I could help, and it would be fun to play with Rudy (Gay), DeMarcus (Cousins), J.T. I still have a lot of friends there. I would love to come back and fulfill my path.” -Omri Casspi, July 22, 2014  

Defensively he is less than stellar but is an efficient rebounder. In very limited time off Houston’s bench last season, Casspi posted his highest scoring, assists, and rebounding numbers per 36 minutes since his rookie year. He also matched his win share averages from his previous stint in Sacramento, where he received higher playing time. In a nutshell, while obviously not a world-beating addition, D’Alessandro smartly found another cheap forward that could help spread the offense coming off the bench.

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