Opinion: Omri Casspi Should Remain The Long Term Starter For The Sacramento Kings


Whether he starts games or comes off the bench Omri Casspi deserves high praise for his level of play this season. Not only have his numbers been solid, but also his determination to win with Sacramento has been another part of why Kings fans have revered the 6’9 forward from Israel.

I mean who really in NBA wants to play for Sacramento by choice, especially with the salary that Casspi currently is earning (2 years/5.8 million)? Omri is definitely one of the few. If there are any others.

Averaging 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds a game, Casspi has proven to being a valuable asset for the team so far. Because of his efficient play, it resulted in George Karl naming him the starter to replace rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, who is currently sidelined with a finger injury.

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Since becoming a regular starter, Casspi has been able to translate his efficiency from the bench with the starting five. So far in the four games he has started since Cauley-Stein’s departure he has averaged 14 points and 6.3 rebounds a contest.

The Kings have also been more competitive with Casspi as a starter, with the team recording a 2-2 record in the last four games. Two of those losses being heartbreakers to Western Conference powerhouses in the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Nov 27, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi (18) gestures from the court against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cauley-Stein is still weeks away as he is still nursing his dislocated finger, which means Casspi will likely remain a starter till then. But with the four games that he has already auditioned for does he deserve to remain the starter even with a healthy Cauley-Stein available?

To me I think he has because he has shown a large sample size already of thriving in George Karl’s system. Since coach Karl has taken the reigns of head coach from last February Casspi has averaged 11.4 points a game, while shooting over 48% from the field and over 43% from the perimeter.

Omni definitely helps the Kings on offense when starting games because rather than having an offensive liability like Cauley-Stein, you get one of the more proficient scorers on the team in Casspi right out of the gate. The Kings have been prone this season to start games off sluggish, so Casspi being implemented to the lineup permanently can potentially solve that.

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Naysayers will respond back stating that Casspi cannot match the defensive impact that Cauley-Stein creates, but I see the defensive woes of the Kings being more towards lack of sticking with their rotations than anything else. Plus Casspi has shown pretty solid defense so far as a starter, which includes limiting Kristaps Porzingis to just 13 points recently. Porzingis (7’3) has a 6 inch advantage on Casspi (6’9).

Overall, Casspi has done a great job filling in as a starter. So good that I think he should remain a starter even when Cauley-Stein is cleared for action. The offense runs more fluidly with Casspi, which has the potential to being the solution of the Kings starting out games slow.

Casspi has also shown the belief that he can be relied on in a gamely basis. Throughout coach Karl’s tenure with the Kings, Casspi has continued to be someone he can rely on both in health and productivity.

Whether Casspi gets promoted to full-time starter is still unknown for the time being. But one thing is certain is that starting or not he is a great asset for the Kings.