Omri Casspi did not anticipate the Warriors to come calling in free agency.
But early in the morning on July 1 -- when Casspi was at home in Israel -- Golden State came knocking.
"I knew this was where I wanted to put myself," Casspi told ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz. "I wanted to be a part of this group of guys and wanted them to dictate my future. So many times as role players, we are so dependent on our main guys, our coachs, etc. -- they dictate our future.
"I feel like a lot of times a lot of people didn't know a lot about my game because I played on bad teams. And now, things are more out there because I'm playing on a better team."
Casspi -- who reportedly turned down an offer worth more than double the $2.1 million deal he signed with the Warriors -- got off to a slow start this season.
But over the last 16 games, the 29-year old is averaging 6.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists over 14.8 minutes per contest.
He is shooting over 59 percent from the field.
Casspi will become a free agent again next summer, and believes playing for the Warriors will have him well positioned.
"I wanted Steph and KD and Coach Kerr and Draymond and Klay and the rest of the guys to dictate where my future and my career are gonna go," Casspi acknowledged. "Because at the end of the day, the better season we have, the better career I will have."
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller
For his latest trick, Steve Kerr brought out a deck of cards Friday night in Oakland.
With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out against the Bulls, Kerr was ready to announce who would replace them. Get your phones ready reporters.
"You guys ready to tweet?" Kerr asked reporters. "We're gonna start Omri and Jordan Bell."
Kerr then began to shuffle his deck of cards and said, "As soon as you're down tweeting, we'll resume human contact. But in the meantime, stare at your phones, ignore me, I'm just practicing my shuffling."
Casspi, in his first year with the Warriors, is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game through 15 games. The rookie Bell has played in 12 games and is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Friday night is Bell's first career start.
Kerr's pregame prop list now includes a nail clipper, a Rubbik's cube, a slinky, and playing cards.
OAKLAND -- The massive task of replacing All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the Warriors lineup Friday night against the Bulls falls to veteran Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell.
It’s the first career start for Bell, who was a healthy scratch in each of the last three games. He will be facing the team that drafted him last June specifically to sell his rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million.
“I’ve been wanting to get him active and play him anyway,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff. “But with Draymond out, to me, it’s a pretty easy choice.”
Bell indicated he would not be particularly motivated against the team that drafted him, adding that he won’t be seeking any sort of vindication.
“They made it clear that they didn’t want me, so I don’t take it to heart,” Bell said after shootaround Friday morning. “They didn’t draft me and sell me. They just drafted me for the Warriors.”
Though Durant is out to rest his left ankle, sprained last Saturday in Philadelphia, Green simply has been given the night off. Kerr indicated there will be other occasions for which he will rest Green.
Durant missed only one game last week but returned Wednesday at Oklahoma City. His ankle did not respond well in the wake of that game, so he gets another day off.
Casspi replaced Durant in the starting lineup last Sunday at Brooklyn, producing 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks over 23 minutes.
This is the first absence of the season for Green. It won’t be the last, as Kerr plans to rest all starters at various points of the season.