Warriors officially sign 29-year-old sharpshooter to one-year deal

Israeli sharpshooter Omri Casspi has spent eight seasons in the NBA as a member of the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Averaging 8.2 points on 36.7 percent three-point shooting over 21.4 minutes, the 6’9”, 225-pound wing has been a journeyman, but has also been a high-volume shooter from deep throughout his career.

In fact, he’s put up 2.6 threes and 6.8 total shots per game despite starting just 138 of the 499 games that he’s played in.

However, Casspi has never experienced a single playoff run. That’s why, according to an ESPN report, he passed up a $4.5 million offer from an undisclosed lottery team to play for the defending champion Golden State Warriors at the veteran minimum of $2.1 million.

Despite taking less than half of what he was offered from another team, it was an easy decision for Casspi to make.

“One thing me and my agent talked about was being part of this organization’s culture and win,” Casspi told the Mercury News. “I’m happy to have the opportunity here.”

He was overwhelmed with emotion when the Warriors reached out to him and he even got a call from Kevin Durant after he agreed to join the squad.

“I wasn’t surprised, but I was very flattered, obviously,” he said. “This good of organization and culture and team gives you confidence when they’re looking at you and want you to be part of this. You can’t overlook that. From the moment they called, this is where my heart wanted to be, and I’m happy we made that decision.”

Casspi is beloved in his native Israel, and he also conveyed that the country went wild after news broke that he’d be joining Golden State.

“The country was going crazy, I know that,” Casspi noted. “The Warriors are like rock stars there in a sense, so the people are really excited and I’m really excited. I feel like it’s going to be a great fit and I can’t wait to start.”

Other than the fact that he will almost certainly enjoy his first playoff experience next season, Casspi also believes that Golden State’s system fits his game perfectly.

“I believe this team plays in a way that really fits my game,” he said. “Going into free agency, this was one of the things I looked at. I want to run, I want to shoot 3s. I want to do whatever it takes to help – play tough defense, shoot open shots, move the ball from side to side … just do the stuff I do.”

After re-signing Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West, the Warriors also added sharpshooter Nick Young via free agency and selected Jordan Bell out of Oregon in the 2017 NBA Draft this offseason. With their core back and some additional pieces in place, they should be poised to take on a Western Conference that is now stacked with talent from top to bottom when the new season tips off.

Ian Clark, who played 14.8 minutes per game last season as a backup guard for the Warriors, will likely be the only notable rotational player not returning, so Casspi will likely see limited minutes as both he and Young will see time with the second unit in Clark’s absence. 

But, as noted above, the opportunity to win a title and experience the thrill of the playoffs outweighed the opportunity to log more minutes elsewhere for Casspi. 

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