Pelicans waive Omri Casspi, who could be headed to Kings
Omri Casspi, in a summer where more players than ever are being moved for financial purposes rather than what they bring on the court, is the latest caught in the whirlwind.
The Rockets sent him to the Pelicans in the Omer Asik trade, an inclusion that helped Houston create a trade exception but wasn’t paramount to the deal occurring. Casspi’s marginality in Houston appeared to be New Oreans’ gain.
The Pelicans can’t trade Casspi in a deal that aggregates his salary until Sept. 15, severely diminishing his usefulness as an asset, especially because his unguaranteed contract becomes fully guaranteed Aug. 6. But I figured New Orleans, efficient (No. 6 in 3-point percentage) though selective (29th in 3-point attempt rate) from beyond the arc, could still use him - especially after Anthony Morrow left for the Thunder.
Instead, Casspi will be changing teams again.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
New Orleans, as expected, has released newly acquired forward Omri Casspi, who will find new team in free agency if he clears waivers— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 23, 2014
Omri Casspi has already publicly expressed interest in returning to Kings and word is Sacramento is planning to put in a waiver claim on him— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 23, 2014
Claiming Casspi off waivers would enable Kings to secure his rights without messing with free agency ... IF they are only team to claim him— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 23, 2014
Because Casspi is on any minimum salary, any team can claim him.
If multiple teams submit claims, he’ll go to the one with the worst record last season. The Kings rank seventh in that pecking order – behind the Bucks, 76ers, Magic, Jazz, Celtics and Lakers.
Casspi would remain on the same contract, which doesn’t become guaranteed until Aug. 6. A team that claims him still couldn’t trade him before that date, but it could hold his rights while determining whether or not to keep him. There’s little risk in submitting a claim at this time of year. Casspi could always be waived yet again in the next two weeks.
If the Kings nab Casspi – who began his NBA career in Sacramento – they’d likely waive Quincy Acy, whose contract becomes guaranteed Saturday. They could claim Casspi without waiving Acy, though that would take them over the luxury-tax line. Tax payments aren’t determined until the regular season ends, but why be put in the position of losing revenue-sharing payments when you can just drop Acy at no cost now?