Omri Casspi headed back to Maccabi Tel Aviv

As hopes fade for a quick end to the NBA lockout, Israeli NBA player signs deal to return home in January.

Omri Casspi 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Omri Casspi 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli NBA player Omri Casspi has agreed to return to Maccabi Tel Aviv, announcing on Tuesday that he will join his former team in January, assuming the NBA season is lost to the ongoing lockout.
After initially indicating that he wanted to play for Maccabi during the lockout, Casspi announced at the end of August that he would not be returning to the yellow-and-blue due to income tax issues.
However, with still no end in sight to the lockout, and with offers from the likes of Spartak St. Petersburg and France’s Asvel Basket Lyon Villeurbanne not coming to fruition, Casspi renewed talks with Maccabi, and declared on Tuesday that he will return to Tel Aviv should the NBA season be canceled.
“Maccabi and I have signed the contract and I’m as happy as can be to be returning home,” Casspi wrote on his Facebook page. “I’m so excited to be coming back home, to my family and the best fans in the world.
“I will be coming in January assuming the NBA season is canceled.
The reason I will only be arriving in January is because I don’t want Maccabi to suffer from having two players leaving the team at once should there eventually be an NBA season.”
New Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar, who is Jewish, has played for Tel Aviv since the start of the season as a result of the lockout.
The chances of the entire 2011/12 NBA season being canceled increased significantly on Monday after the NBA players’ union rejected the latest deal offered by owners and announced that it will file an antitrust lawsuit against the league.
Casspi, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings two years ago, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of last season. He has yet to play for the team due to the labor dispute.