NBA champions Golden State Warriors sign Israeli star
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NBA champions Golden State Warriors sign Israeli star

Omri Casspi closes deal, for reported $2.1 million, to play upcoming season with San Francisco basketball team

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Omri Casspi #18 of the Sacramento Kings dunks the ball over Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 28, 2015 in Oakland, California (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP)
Omri Casspi #18 of the Sacramento Kings dunks the ball over Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 28, 2015 in Oakland, California (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP)

Israeli basketball star Omri Casspi early Wednesday morning agreed to sign for one season with the 2017 NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors.

In what was for Casspi a middle-of-the-night conference call with representatives of the San Francisco team, he closed a deal to play the coming season for $2.1 million, the minimum amount for a player of his experience, Channel 2 reported.

Casspi, 29, who in 2009 became the first Israeli to play in the National Basketball Association, is scheduled to fly out to the US in the coming days to meet his new team.

According to reports the Warriors contacted Casspi on July 1, the first day that teams were permitted to start negotiating new contracts with players.

Aviv Caspi, his sister, said that although she knew about the talks with her brother for a few days. she had been obliged to keep them secret.

“It is a dream come true,” she enthused in an interview with Army Radio.

Casspi had a nomadic 2017 season. In March he was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Timberwolves, his third team in the space of a month and fifth since joining the NBA.

Casspi had been waived at the end of February by the New Orleans Pelicans — his second stint with the team — after breaking his thumb in his debut with the club. Days earlier he had been involved in a trade from the Sacramento Kings that sent All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.

The 6-9 forward joined the Kings as a first-round draft pick and played there for two years. He has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets.

Casspi was a member of the championship Maccabi Tel Aviv team in Israel before making himself available for the NBA draft.

JTA contributed to this report.

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