Omri Casspi Plans To Continue Career In NBA

Having been waived by the Warriors over the weekend to make room on the roster for Quinn Cook, Omri Casspi will officially clear waivers and become a free agent later this week. However, while he isn’t expected to catch on with another NBA team this season, Casspi remains focused on sticking in the NBA next year, per Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

According to Voisin, Casspi intends to spend the next few weeks in his native country of Israel, visiting family in Tel Aviv. Then he’ll return to Los Angeles to continue rehabbing the ankle injury that has sidelined him in recent weeks, and will train in preparation for the 2018 free agency period. While Casspi could technically be scooped up by another NBA team this week, his ankle injury and his lack of eligibility for the playoffs make it far more likely that he’ll return for 2018/19.

“I want to stay in the NBA,” Casspi told Voisin. “I learned so much this year with the Warriors. That’s what makes this so hard. That is an amazing organization, and (Warriors head coach) Steve (Kerr), the way he handles things, the good times and the adversity, is really impressive. He told me he loves what I bring, too, and I could tell it was hard for him to tell me.

“When we met with (Warriors GM) Bob (Myers) last night, Steve kept looking down,” Casspi continued. “I told him, ‘I love you guys. I understand.’ I just feel if I could have ever gotten healthy, I’d be on on the playoff roster. But what are you going to do? This is a hard business sometimes.”

As Marc Stein of The New York Times writes, Casspi chose to sign with the Warriors during the 2017 offseason because he wanted to compete for a championship. That meant turning down interest from the Nets, who would have paid him closer to $5MM rather than the minimum salary he received from the Dubs, says Stein.

Casspi won’t get a chance to compete for a title this season, having become what Kerr referred to as “a victim of circumstance” in Golden State. It will be interesting to see whether the veteran forward prioritizing joining a contending team again during the coming offseason, or if he’ll be more inclined to opt for a bigger offer from a team willing to give him a more significant role.

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