Cavs Won’t Buy Out Omri Casspi Before Deadline

11:59pm: The Rockets' agreement to sign Brooks scuttled Casspi's willingness to accept a buyout from the Cavs, since it took away a likely destination, according to Marc Stein of (Twitter links).

7:55pm: The Cavs won't buy out the remainder of Omri Casspi's contract before tonight's playoff-eligibility deadline, reports Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The forward is unpleased with his scant playing time this season, a source tells Lloyd, and his representatives have been engaged in buyout talks with the team.

Bob Finnan of The News-Herald indicated this weekend that Casspi was no longer in the team's plans, and a report from the Israeli website Walla Sport indicated Casspi wanted to wait to have an offer lined up with another team before agreeing to a buyout, just like Raja Bell of the Jazz. That report from Casspi's native Israel pointed to the Grizzlies and Rockets as potential destinations, and ESPN's Marc Stein named the Rockets as a legitimate candidate to sign him if he were released, though Houston might be reluctant to do so now that they're set to sign Aaron Brooks.

Casspi is averaging a career-low 11.4 minutes per game this year, and his numbers have declined virtually across the board in each season since his rookie campaign in 2009/10. That year he put up 10.3 points in 25.1 minutes per game for the Kings, who made him the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft. Casspi's currently making $2.277MM in the final year of his rookie-scale contract, but it's no certainty that the Cavs will tender him the $3.3MM qualifying offer required for the team to match offers for him this summer. Without that qualifying offer, Casspi would become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

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