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August 17, 2011 12:34 pm

Omri Caspi Returns to Tel Aviv

avatar by Levi Epstein

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Omri Casspi. Photo: Chamber of Fear.

After recently being traded to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, 23-year-old small forward, Omri Casspi has decided to rejoin his former Israeli team – Maccabi Tel Aviv – for the duration of the current USA League lockout. “I wanted to continue playing at the highest levels in Europe, and there is no better place to do that than with Maccabi,” said Casspi.

The Cavaliers have allowed Omri to sign with a European team during the ongoing NBA labor dispute, as long as he rejoins the team when the discord between the owners and players is resolved.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Tel Aviv team owner, David Federman, said that Maccabi has offered Casspi $40,000 a month to return to his former Israeli club up until the NBA negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement.

Casspi made his professional debut with Maccabi during the 2005 -2006 season and helped lead them to the Euro League finals in 2008 and a State Championship in 2009 before being drafted to the NBA, 23rdoverall ranking, by the Sacramento Kings.

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At Tel Aviv Casspi will be joining fellow Jewish NBA player, Jordan Farmar, who signed a deal with Maccabi earlier this month. With two NBA players on its roster the club is now set for another run at the championship.

However, signing two NBA players is risky for Maccabi, since both players would be required to opt out and return to their respective teams if the League solves its labor dispute during the 2012 NBA season. Losing two key players mid-season could really hurt the team’s chances of going the distance.

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