Cavs’ Casspi coy about trade-request report

Israeli forward insists he is happy in Cleveland despite diminishing role and numbers.

Cleveland Cavaliers Omri Casspi 370 (R) (photo credit: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters)
Cleveland Cavaliers Omri Casspi 370 (R)
(photo credit: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters)
Omri Casspi refused to comment on a report he requested to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, claiming he is happy and would like to stay.
However, the 24-year-old did not go as far as denying the Yahoo Sports story, saying slyly ahead of Cleveland’s defeat to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center, “whatever the future holds will happen.”
After playing just a single minute in Cleveland’s past 13 games since December 11, Casspi saw 15 minutes of action against the Bulls, scoring just four points and failing to grab a rebound in the 118-92 loss.
“Of course, I like Cleveland,” Casspi said. “Cleveland has been great to me.
The fans, the city, the organization.
That’s where I’m focused. I don’t have any other focus but help my team win. Whatever the future holds will happen.”
Casspi has struggled desperately this season, playing in just 20 of Cleveland’s 36 games, averaging career lows of 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in just over 13 minutes per game.
“To be honest, I think I’ve done everything I can,” Casspi added. “Over the course of the summer, over the course of training camp with the opportunities I got.
It’s just different rotations and I have to accept it.”
The Israeli’s relationship with coach Byron Scott has been rocky to say the least, but Scott would not rule out Casspi returning to the rotation.
“It’s nothing that he’s done to get put in this position,” said Scott, explaining that Casspi is remaining on the bench due to the play of Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles.
“This is all based on my beliefs with the other two guys. He has to continue to do what he’s been doing at practice every single day, continue to be the professional that he is.
“Omri’s been great. As far as him playing, he’s probably going to get another shot at it,” Scott added.
“It’s just a matter of time and me finagling some other lineups.”
Scott also complemented Casspi on the way he has dealt with his recent benching.
“He’s been great at practice.
He’s been great in the games, cheering for his teammates,” he said. “He’s been a true professional in every sense of the word. I expect him to continue to be that way.”
For the time being, at least, Casspi is determined to make the most of any chance he gets in Cleveland.
“It’s been a while. It’s been a good month I’m not playing.
“Basically from Hanukka, when my mother was in town,” said Casspi, who also missed a few games in mid- December with gastroenteritis.
“I’ve got to work for my opportunity.”