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Report: Sacramento Kings to place waiver claim on Omri Casspi

Sacramento looks to bring back former draft pick


According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Sacramento Kings intend to place a waiver claim on recently released forward Omri Casspi, and the former King is up for a return to the capital city.

“Couldn’t they use a stretch forward who can hit a 3 and loves to run?,” Casspi told the Sacramento Bee via telephone from Tel Aviv.  “I think I could help, and it would be fun to play with Rudy (Gay), DeMarcus (Cousins), J.T. (Jason Thompson).  I still have a lot of friends there. I would love to come back and fulfill my path.”

The 26-year-old Casspi was drafted by the Kings with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Casspi had a promising rookie season in Sacramento, in which he averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25 minutes per game, but he struggled in his second year.

Casspi played a total of 148 games, including 58 starts over his two seasons in Sacramento before being shipped to Cleveland, along with a future first-round pick, for J.J. Hickson.

The Israeli-born Casspi struggled mightily in his two seasons in Cleveland, averaging 5.9 points on 40.0 percent shooting over 108 contests.  He left Cleveland last summer, signing a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets for the veteran’s minimum.  He averaged 6.9 points on 42.3 percent shooting in 18 minutes per game last season off coach Kevin McHale’s bench, but was left out of the Rockets’ playoff rotation.

Casspi joined the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Omer Asik trade with the Houston Rockets earlier this month, but did not fit into the team’s long-term plans.  His non-guaranteed contract with the Pelicans was worth slightly more than a million dollars, and per league rules, Casspi will remain on waivers for 48 hours.  If multiple teams make claims to his contract, Casspi would go to the claiming team with the worst record from last season.

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