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Omri Casspi370.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Cavaliers cut ties with Casspi
Casspi may be joined in the NBA by a second Israeli, with Gal Mekel receiving rave reviews in recent workouts.
Omri Casspi officially became an unrestricted free agent late Saturday night after the Cleveland Cavaliers chose not to exercise their option to extend his contract.

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 season.

Casspi could well be joined in the NBA by a second Israeli, with Gal Mekel receiving rave reviews in his recent workouts in North America.

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, 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 in Slovenia.

Besides Israel and Great Britain, Group A also includes Ukraine, France, Belgium and Germany.
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