Omri Casspi has had an interesting NBA career since coming over from Israel in 2009. Casspi was the first Israeli to play in an NBA game when he suited up for the Sacramento Kings. He has only gone downhill since then after under-performing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he will get a new shot on a new team this season with the Houston Rockets.
At -foot-9, Casspi has great size and length for the small forward position. He is essentially a spot up shooter, but that size has yielded decent rebounding numbers. In his first season, Casspi averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on 44.6 percent shooting and 36.9 percent from downtown. The next year, Casspi’s scoring dipped, but his three point shooting got a little better, as his percentage went up to 37.2 on 247 attempts.
After being traded to the Cavaliers, Casspi’s production took a serious hit. He made less than one three pointer per game for both of his seasons with the Cavaliers, and his field goal percentage fell below 40 percent last season. The hit Casspi’s field goal percentage took was largely due to shooting more three pointers.
In his rookie season, the season in which he had his highest field goal percentage, Casspi shot 469 two point attempts and 203 three point attempts. That rookie year, Casspi was impressive at the rim, finishing on 65.8 percent of his 184 attempts. Last season, Casspi was clearly in then coach Byron Scott’s doghouse and attempted just 160 total shots, 76 of which were threes. Casspi shot poorly in those limited attempts, but a change of scenery with the Rockets may help him find his shot again.
Casspi joins a team that was second in the league in three point shooting last year in the Rockets; the Cavaliers ranked 17th. With more three-point shooting options in players like Chandler Parsons and Francisco Garcia, Casspi may be relied on less and find more open shots. He may also attack the rim more, upping his field goal percentage and points per game.
Casspi may not average the 25 minutes per game he earned in his rookie season, but it’s safe to assume he’ll play more than he did in his last year in Cleveland, where he played in just 43 games for just 11.7 minutes per game.
Overall, Casspi is definitely in a better position in Houston than he was in Cleveland. The Rockets, however, lost Carlos Delfino this offseason and Casspi is essentially his replacement. At this point, Delfino is the better player and the better outside shooter, but Casspi may still improve in his fifth season.