Casspi set to sign with Israeli team


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Omri Casspi has negotiated a contract to play with his former Israeli basketball team during the NBA lockout, the team’s coach said.

Casspi, who now plays for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers following a trade in June from the Sacramento Kings, is close to signing with the championship Maccabi Tel Aviv squad, David Federman told Army Radio on Sunday. The 6-foot-9 forward played with Maccabi Tel Aviv for three seasons before being drafted in the late first round by the Kings and becoming the first Israeli to play in the NBA.

Casspi was scheduled to be part of the Israeli national team for the EuroBasket tournament but injured his knee during practice last week. A victory in the European championships could help the Israeli team secure a spot in the 2012 Olympics.

“I won’t risk anything before I’ll be 100% to go out there and play,” Casspi, who is still in Israel, Tweeted his fans. “I’m getting treatments everyday. 2-4 weeks recovery time. But again, nothing is torn and I’m just fine.”

Jordan Farmar, a guard for the New Jersey Nets, signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier this month to play for the duration of the lockout. Former Duke guard Jon Scheyer, undrafted by the NBA, signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv in June.

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