June 29, 2018
SF/PF - 6’9, 225lbs - 30 years old - 9 years of experience
The Warriors would not have waived Casspi had Quinn Cook not forced their hand. Indeed, if they could have rebalanced the roster to have less surplus post players and keep Casspi around for the Finals run, they probably would have done. Casspi was extremely efficient from the floor in his time as a Warrior, as a player of his agility, full court handle and endless off-ball cuts was destined to be, and he also shot jump shots well on limited attempts. Rebounding the ball well, too, made for a good solid performance in limited minutes. But the minutes were limited because Casspi’s defence, sporadic throughout his career, was poor all season. He was effective because he was given limited and select match-ups to be effective in. Nevertheless, he likely would have stayed. But having the year end via a late-season waiving was pretty ugly and negates what could have been momentum heading into the free agency market. Such a thing can make a player overlooked and forgotten about. And Casspi should not be forgotten about. He is a solid NBA player. But he does need to be more aggressive on defence again.
June 29, 2017
SF/PF, 6’9, 225lbs, 29 years old, 8 years of experience
Didn’t rebound in his short time with the Wolves for some reason, but in a 222 minute sample size, that is surely just an anomaly. Also didn’t shoot the three well for Minnesota, but the same applies there. As a total body of work across three teams, it was a usual Casspian season; some energy, some cuts, some spot-ups, a slightly maverick defensive style that does not often work, and a decent rebounding rate considering he never seems to win the contested ones. A minimum salary player going forward, but an NBA player still.
Player Plan: Expiring minimum salary contract. Probably has a minimum salary or two left in him - this should, after all, be his prime. But he has not produced at any level above that for a few years now.
November 19, 2013
[...] Casspi, however, is faced with the very opposite. If he plays well this year - and so far, he is doing so - then he is shackled to a second season at far below market value. By having the second season at the minimum salary, a fully unguaranteed second season if waived by a certain date, Houston can dictate Casspi's future - indeed, the date being as late as it is (August 5) allows them to potentially do so throughout the entirety of the busiest and most important part of free agency.
For that entire month, and for the two immediately preceding it, Casspi is in limbo, able to be traded or cut at a moment's notice, with no say in his future, waiting to be told what is happening. This is at a time when he could be exploring the market elsewhere and finding himself a more befitting paycheck. Even if waived, he is not free - Casspi would then be subject to the waivers procedure, where again he has no control over his future. And if he is deemed worthy of being waived from an unguaranteed minimum salary contract, it is surely a logical conclusion that he is not likely to get more than that again on the open market. It is likely, then, that Casspi is handicapped to a minimum salary contract next season whilst clearly deserving of more. And not having the option to hit the free agency market means he is stuck with being underpaid for another 19 months.
October 15, 2013
Consider, then, the case of Omri Casspi, possibly the best player of that group. Casspi’s once bright NBA future has been stymied somewhat by a string of mediocre seasons, and he signed with the Rockets this summer for only the minimum salary. The first season of this deal is fully guaranteed, whilst the second is fully unguaranteed if waived on or before August 5th.
Presumably, either the second unguaranteed season was accepted by the player and his representatives as a concession for the first season being fully guaranteed, or because Houston refused to offer anything else. This is presumed to be the case as the second unguaranteed season does not appear to be beneficial to him in any way.
If Casspi plays well next season, enough to justify a payday higher than the minimum, he cannot now get it as he is tied down to the minimum. The only way he is not tied down is if Houston waives him, and if they do so, they are doing so for one of two reasons. They either do not think he is worth even that much, or they want to re-sign him to a bigger, longer deal. The latter of these is unlikely anyway, and made doubly so by the threat of a waiver claim by another team – had Casspi had a declinable team option instead, this risk would not exist. There is a scenario in which Casspi could play well, be waived, clear waivers and re-sign with Houston for a bigger deal, yet the far more likely outcome is that he earns the minimum salary, be it with Houston or someone else.
Evidently, the second season appears to be of little benefit to Casspi. Houston is not entirely adverse to giving out one-year minimum salary deals – with Casspi, Brewer and Williams are all NBA veterans in this position, Brooks and Camby both received only one season, thereby dictating their own futures after this year. Meanwhile, Casspi waits to be told his, and even if he has a career season, he will reap only the minimum as a reward.
Players and agents should strive to find as much guaranteed salary as possible and as little unguaranteed salary as possible. In Casspi’s case, we find only a weird compromise.
October 7, 2013
The most fun part of preseason is being able to get wildly carried away with the results and performances in the mostly meaningless games. This is particularly true of the performances of individual players who simply were not expected to shine, but did.
Two such players have already shown their faces, in Houston’s Omri Casspi and the L.A. Lakers’s Xavier Henry. Casspi shot 9-10 for 20 points on his debut, whilst Henry topped that with 29 in his, an impressive amount for a player whose career high to this point is only 19.
Whilst this level of production is obviously not sustainable, Casspi and Henry are set to earn only the minimum salary next season. Casspi’s is fully guaranteed, but Henry’s isn’t even guaranteed for one single dollar. These two players, then, have shown they could potentially be valuable contributors for as good of as value as is possible.
Casspi has struggled since his rookie season when he showed true promise as a free roaming off-the-ball offensive player, but who started to succumb to similarly free roaming tendencies defensively. Henry, meanwhile, was nothing short of poor in his first three seasons, struggling badly to make a shot from any portion of the court, not being able to create any, and not being consistent with his potentially good defense. There’s a reason these players were available for so cheap – they weren’t working out, and multiple teams had given up on them ever doing so.
However, this doesn’t mean the players are, or suddenly became, talentless. Casspi and Henry were first round picks as recently as four and three years ago, respectively, and are 25 and 22 years old. There is still some talent in the fire. Someone just needs to throw a log on it.