Golden State Warriors forward Omri Casspi shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson during the first quarter at Barclays Center. .
(photo credit: ANTHONY GRUPPUSO-USA TODAY VIA REUTERS)
Omri Casspi's dream of winning an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors ended in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday when he was waived by the reigning champions.
When the 29-year-old Israeli forward joined the Warriors last summer, it sounded almost too good to be true. He enjoyed the experience of a lifetime by sharing the court with four future Hall-of-Famers, even though he mostly played a minor role on what is regarded as one of the greatest basketball teams of all time.
Casspi was nevertheless finally hoping to make his playoff debut with Golden State
this month, but instead he will be watching the post-season on TV yet again, being cut to clear a roster spot for Quinn Cook after failing to shake an ankle injury and rarely featuring for the team over the past two months.
Casspi is suffering from inflammation as well as a bone bruise on the side of his right foot that has kept him out of action since March 16 and is still preventing him from running or jumping. He was listed as day-to-day by the Warriors, but with the team having until Tuesday to finalize its playoff roster and Cook making a good impression over recent weeks, Casspi found himself the odd man out.
Casspi, who averaged 5.7 points on 58 percent shooting in 14 minutes through 53 games, agreed to a one-year deal for a veteran’s minimum of $2.1 million last summer, turning down more lucrative offers in order to finally take part in the playoffs. No other player in the league has made as many regular season appearances without playing in the post-season.
Casspi impressively carved out a role for himself during December, averaging 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds over 19.5 minutes per game. However, he took a back seat during January, ending the first month of the year with averages of 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds over 12.6 minutes after losing his place in the rotation and suffering from minor injuries.
He didn't manage more than two points in Golden State's first five games of February before scoring a season-high 19 points
to go with 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season in a win against Phoenix. However, Casspi dropped out of the rotation in the subsequent month, scoring six total points over a 10-game stretch. He managed 15 points and seven rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 14, but he injured his ankle again, two days later against Sacramento in what proved to be his final game for the Warriors.
Casspi, who is in his ninth season in the NBA, will yet again find himself searching for a new team this summer. He was hoping to kick-start his career with Golden State, but only managed to do so with limited success. In the 2016-2017 season he played a mere total of 36 games for Sacramento, New Orleans and Minnesota, twice sitting out significant time through injury.
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