Sacramento Kings: Omri Casspi Signing Grade
By Josh Morgan: VP and Director of Content At Hoopstuff…
Contract: 1 year, minimum
Since having the two best seasons of his career in his first two years in the league, Casspi has struggled to find any kind of footing. The Kings traded him to the Cavaliers and his production and playing time slipped each season, only playing in 43 games, mainly due to having his appendix removed, during the 2012-13 season. He would sign with Houston and would go on to play in 71 games, seeing a minor bounce back in production, but not what one would expect from a former first round pick. After getting traded to New Orleans in the deal involving Omer Asik, Casspi would be waived and has found his way back to Sacramento on a one year deal.
Apparently California’s capital is the perfect place for the Israeli native because anywhere else he has been the numbers haven’t been the same. With the Kings he shot 37 percent from behind the three point line, nearly 47 percent from inside the arc and put up a respectable 9.5 points per game on 8 shots, in 24.5 minutes. While his overall numbers per 36 minutes have essentially stayed the same once he was traded, those numbers mean very little. What matters is production on the floor and for Casspi it has been a rough time trying to maintain or improve on what he did during his first two seasons. His percentage from three hasn’t come close to what it was, 33 percent for three seasons, and his point production dropped as well, to just 6.5 points per game. Now that he has found his way back where he started, maybe this is what he needs to get his career back on track to at least being that reliable bench shooter, and the Kings sure could use his shooting ability. They drafted Nik Stauskus in the hopes of improving upon last season’s 33 percent shooting from behind the arc, good for 27th in the league, and the 17th ranked scoring offense in the league; the signing of Casspi could also improve those numbers even in the limited role he will most likely see backing up Rudy Gay. Casspi is also a capable defender on the perimeter, something the Kings could also utilize ranking 29th in opponent’s three point percentage and 24th in points allowed per game.
There isn’t a huge risk in signing Casspi and with the offense likely going through DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay; reliable shooters will be a priority to space the floor and be ready to shoot when they get stopped. If he can find the form he had those first two seasons of his career he should be a decent bench piece for the Kings. While the reward isn’t huge either, it’s hard to argue with the front office bringing in a player they are familiar with on a minimum contract. The grade may seem relatively high because of his limited production the previous few seasons but he can provide skills they lacked last season and fills a need on their bench.