Free agent Omri Casspi has been cleared to play again and expected to join a playoff contender team. According to the latest report, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies have expressed strong interest in adding the 28-year-old Israeli power forward on their team.
Before the trade deadline, the Sacramento Kings included Omri Casspi in a package that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. On February 23, Casspi made his debut game in New Orleans when the Pelicans faced the Houston Rockets. He posted 12 points and two rebounds on 55.6 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Unfortunately, on the same day, Casspi suffered a thumb injury and expected to miss four to six weeks. With the Pelicans’ hope of entering the playoffs, they decided to waive Casspi to create a roster spot. However, as of now, they are 27-40 and five wins behind the Western Conference No. 8 seed Denver Nuggets.
Omri Casspi’s recovery ahead of schedule
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Omri Casspi could finally return to the court after being cleared to resume basketball activities. The report came as a surprise since he’s expected to return in April. Multiple playoff teams reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Casspi, including the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Casspi would be an interesting addition with the Clippers. They have been looking an upgrade at small forward for years. However, it remains questionable if he can immediately replace defensive genius Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the starting lineup. Still, his addition will definitely help the Clippers in the playoffs. Coach Doc Rivers could use him as their power forward if he wants to use a smaller lineup.
Casspi would receive a larger role in Memphis since they recently lost Chandler Parsons due to injury. The Grizzlies would definitely benefit from his shooting accuracy and defensive versatility in the postseason.
“Casspi could play big minutes in Memphis, and his combination of 3-point shooting and defensive versatility would be absolutely perfect in the starting lineup. Coach David Fizdale has spent the season experimenting with lineups in order to boost the Grizzlies’ offense without sacrificing their defensive identity. A tough, two-way player like Casspi makes that easier,” James Herbert of CBS Sports wrote.
As of now, Casspi is yet to make an official announcement regarding his next team. Aside from the Clippers and the Grizzlies, the Warriors, Rockets, and the Wizards are also expected to join the pursuit.
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