Omri Casspi to return to Maccabi Tel Aviv, owner says

David Federman says NBA star close to signing with Israeli powerhouse; will play with club for duration of NBA work dispute.

Casspi 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Casspi 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli NBA star Omri Casspi is returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv, David Federman, one of the club's owners said in an interview with Army Radio on Sunday.
According to Federman, the majority of Casspi's contract has been negotiated and he will be joining Maccabi for the upcoming season, granted the NBA labor dispute continues and the 2011-2012 NBA season is delayed or canceled all together as many suspect.
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"We are really in advanced negotiations with Casspi and for a number of weeks we have been contemplating how to act. Assuming Omri wants to play in Europe, it will be with us," Federman said.
Maccabi Tel Aviv offered Casspi $40,000 a month until the NBA work dispute is resolved. Casspi is under contract with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers but would be allowed to sign with a European club as long as the NBA owners continue to lockout players until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed by the parties.
New Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier this month and will play with the club until the lockout ends.
“This is a very exciting and special signing,” Maccabi coach David Blatt said of Farmar. “Due to the unusual situation with the NBA lockout, players of the highest level have suddenly found themselves available. It is true that we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t get involved in such an adventure, but this is an extraordinary and rare case.
“I must say that in all my years as a coach, Farmar is one of the more special players I have met. The most important thing is that Jordan has a strong connection with the country, having deep Jewish and Israeli roots, and we see him one day being a permanent and leading player at Maccabi once he ends his impressive contract in the NBA.
“We remain loyal to our vision of bringing the top Israeli and Jewish players to Maccabi.”
Allon Sinai contributed to this report.