The Cleveland Cavaliers may release Israeli forward Omri Casspi after the 2012 season and buy out his $2.3 million contract, according to reports published by Sport 5 on Sunday.
Casspi became the first Israeli to play in the NBA when he was drafted by Sacramento in 2009. He was traded to Cleveland last year and began the season as a starter for the Cavs. Midway through the season he was demoted to the bench.
Casspi’s decline in Cleveland, said coach Byron Scott, is performance related. Scott recently commented that several members of the squad, including Casspi, weren’t familiar with the playbook more than halfway through the season.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Casspi signed with the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, but returned to Cleveland when league play started.