(photo credit: REUTERS)
Omri Casspi officially became an unrestricted free agent late Saturday night
after the Cleveland Cavaliers chose not to exercise their option to extend his
With the 25-year-old averaging just 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds
in the mere 43 games in which he took part last season, it was of little
surprise that the Cavs decided not to hand him the $3.3 million he was due for
2013/14 to make him a restricted free agent.
Casspi, who scored in double
figures just five times throughout last season, is completely free to choose his
next destination and despite two disappointing years in Cleveland, he still has
his admirers in the league and is expected to remain an NBA player next
Casspi could well be joined in the NBA by a second Israeli, with
Gal Mekel receiving rave reviews in his recent workouts in North
According to ESPN senior NBA writer, Marc Stein, the 25-year-old
guard, who led Maccabi Haifa to a stunning championship this past season, had an
“eye-opening” workout with the Milwaukee Bucks.
He has also garnered
interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, with Atlanta, Indiana,
Memphis, Utah and Minnesota also all believed to be tracking Mekel, who is
hoping to land a contract even before the start of the NBA Summer League in less
than two weeks.
According to website Sheridan hoops.com, Mekel is
ranked 37th among the top 50 NBA free agents, ahead of the likes of veterans
Lamar Odom and Elton Brand.
In other basketball news, Maccabi Tel Aviv
assistant coach Guy Goodes was named as the assistant coach of the Great Britain
national team on Sunday.
The 43-year-old will work under coach Joe Prunty
and will be able to assist him with inside information on the Israel team, with
the blue-and-white to face Great Britain in its EuroBasket opener on September 4
Besides Israel and Great Britain, Group A also includes
Ukraine, France, Belgium and Germany.