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Report: Omri Casspi near deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Aug 15, 2011, 9:18 AM EST

omri-casspi-sacramento-kings-125-million AP

While most of the major teams of Europe — the EuroLeague level teams — have shied away from signing NBA players Maccabi Tel Aviv has been the exception.

They already signed Jordan Farmar and now Omri Casspi is reportedly set to return to the team.

The Cavaliers forward played for the Israeli club before coming to the NBA and now is headed back there during the lockout, reports the Jerusalem Post (via SLAM).

Israeli NBA star Omri Casspi is returning to Maccabi Tel Aviv, David Federman, one of the club’s owners said in an interview with Army Radio on Sunday…

“We are really in advanced negotiations with Casspi and for a number of weeks we have been contemplating how to act. Assuming Omri wants to play in Europe, it will be with us,” Federman said.

Casspi would have an opt-out to return to the NBA if and when the lockout is resolved. Like the Farmar signing, this makes some sense for Maccabi Tel Aviv — Casspi would fit well with the team, he knows what to expect and he would help both at the gate and on the court. He reportedly would receive $40,000 a month to play there (well below the $1.3 million he would make next season in the NBA).

Casspi has played for the Kings the past couple seasons. He was traded to the Cavaliers on draft day.

This is a risk for Maccabi Tel Aviv — if the lockout is solved during the season they would lose two key players. They have already lost Jeremy Pargo, the quick guard who played for them last season but wants a shot in the NBA after he had a breakout year in Israel last season, he told ESPN.

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