Writer's Note: This is Part 8 of a 15-part series where I review the 2010-11 season of each of the Cavaliers players. Each player will be titled with one of this summer's movies for a little added fun. I couldn't think of any better order to do this so I'm going alphabetically. Today: Omri Casspi. Up Next: Manny Harris
Okay, he didn't actually play in Cleveland this past season, but he's on the roster going forward and I want to talk about him...so there.
We're also stuck in a lockout and with no summer league, free agency or trades, I need stuff to talk about. Writing columns is my therapy to get me through these dark days.
And I lost a piece in this series when J.J. Hickson got traded so I also needed to fill that void. I had a great article planned out for J.J., titled with Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
I was going to talk about how he had transformed himself from "Why the frick didn't we trade this guy for Amare Stoudemire?" into "Hey this guy might actually be a nice player, but I still don't understand why the frick we didn't trade him for Amare Stoudemire!"
But he's not on the team any more, so we're moving on with our lives.
Omri Casspi was only on the Cavs for about 15 minutes before the league obliviated all the players from its website, signaling the start of what is most likely going to be a long and painful lockout for all NBA fans.
Enough with the negativity! Let's keep the positive energy going! (Am I arguing with myself while writing my own column? I think so. I'm also asking myself questions and answering them. Wow, I'm already losing it. This lockout can't end soon enough.)
If you don't get why I picked The Change-Up, then you're an idiot and I'm not wasting my time with you.
The movie, by the way, doesn't come out for another couple weeks but I can already tell you what happens. So...spoiler alert...two guys have very different lives, magic/fate/destiny/some fountain goddess switches their bodies and they live each other's lives which they desired only to find out in the end that they were happier with their own life and along the way make valuable character decisions to benefit themselves in the long run.
But this film does have Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, who are both pretty funny, so there's still an outside shot I might see it even though we already know exactly what is going to happen.
And I digress...back to Casspi.
When the Cavs made the trade, I was a little surprised. But after taking some time to gather my thoughts, I realized that the trade was an upgrade for the Cavs. I wrote about it that day and pointed out that J.J.'s time was obviously up in Cleveland after the team used its No. 4 pick on Tristan Thompson, who, though a very different type of player, plays the same position as Hickson.
It was an obvious nod toward a change in team philosophy and a likely dedication to defense, something J.J. never really took to whole-heartedly.
I will say, however, that I'm not 100 percent sure if Casspi is a better player than Hickson. I just think he's a better fit for this team at this time.
As much as it pains me to say this, Alonzo Gee just isn't the long term answer at the small forward position for the Cavs. Casspi will fill that void from day one (whenever "day one" actually is...probably something like October 28, 2015—and there's the negativity again).
Casspi is athletic, has pretty good size at 6'9", 225 lbs., and is still young at 23 years old with only two years in the NBA. His production last year was solid (finally a stat line I'm not ashamed to run!):
71 GP, 27 GS, 24 MIN, 8.6 PTS, 4.3 REB, 1.0 AST, .412 FG%, .372 3P%, .673 FT%.
And my favorite stat in the world, pointed out by Chris Grant during an interview on the day of the trade with R&R on WKNR: Casspi shoots 47 percent on corner threes!
That also means that he only makes something like 33 percent on all other threes, but still. The corner jumper is an important shot in Byron Scott's offense and it'll be very nice to have a player who can reliably knock down that shot.
Now, before I get away with myself, I need to point out that Casspi is not a superstar, all-star or game-changer.
What he is is a solid player who can play an important role on a playoff team.
Another thing that Grant pointed out that he likes in Casspi is that he's agressive, plays hard, and gets after it on defense. The Cavs GM said that the Israeli product has some "nastiness" to his game.
You need those kinds of players on your team.
And with that, I'm all out of crap to talk about for now.
I hate lockouts.
You can follow me on Twitter @ClevelandFlack.
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