Blog Entry

NBA Draft Prospect: SF Omri Casspi, Israel

Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:53 pm
 

Omri Casspi: 6-9, 220, SF (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Draft rank: #34

SF rank: #9

Strengths:

Has good NBA size to play either forward position in the NBA.  Knows how to back his man down in the post and play with his back to the basket when he has a mismatch.  Has good handles for a forward that allows him to bring up the ball if he can’t find a guard.  Likes to initiate contact and does a great job of drawing fouls.  Doesn’t mind coming to the top of the key where he can run pick and roll with the point guard.  Does a good job of stepping into his shot.  Is very active on the offensive end either setting picks and banging down low or flashing and cutting towards the rim which always make him part of the offense.  Is a very fluid spot up shooter.  Goes after loose balls and doesn’t stop hustling even when he misses shots.  Does a good job of slashing to the hoop.  He actually does a good job in the post on defense as he shows great toughness against stronger players. 

Weaknesses: 

Often lacks the coordination and athleticism to be effective on the fast break.  Doesn’t have good range on his jump shot.  Doesn’t do a lot of damage by beating his man off of the dribble.  Doesn’t finish above the rim.  His shot has a tendency to get blocked.  Relies heavily on his right hand.  Is not a very good decision maker at the top on the perimeter and often struggles when he is not in a catch and shoot situation.   Needs to get stronger so he can finish in the paint.  While he has good size, he doesn’t have great length.  Struggles on defense.  A bit of a tweener who lacks the foot speed to guard perimeter players.  He uses one handed shots a lot when in the paint, but he often misses them.  Doesn’t block a lot of shots or steals.  Shoots his ball from his hip which makes it hard for him to create for himself and shoot.   

Mental:

One on one Casspi is a very tough player.  He won’t back down from guys and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.  He has good body language when on the floor and can be seen constantly encouraging his teammates.  He plays with a good motor and isn’t afraid to get after it.  I think his military background will help him battle for a roster spot and stay in the league.  

Comparison: Andres Nocioni, 6-7, 225, SF

Would be a good fit for:  Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons or San Antonio Spurs

Conclusion:

I think Casspi’s natural position is at the small forward spot, but he could give a team minutes at the four as well.  His ability to mix it up and fit into the offense is really important as he tries to make an NBA team.  He does a lot of positive things on the floor and I think he has solid potential as a backup combo forward.

Casspi won’t wow you in any one way but he is just solid across the board.  He has good size to play the 3 and should develop into a consistent shooter.  His energy is good and I think that’s really important as he tries to carve out a niche for himself in the NBA.  Overall, he reminds me of a combination of Nocioni and Leinas Kleiza.  I am not sure he will be as good as either of those players are, but he should be able to produce in a similar fashion. 

A team in the late first round may look to take Casspi and store him over in Israel.  He is still only 21 years old and could use a couple of years to improve his game.  Maccabi is one of the best teams overseas and he will be playing with a lot of former NBA players who can continue to help him develop.  He has limited potential but his fundamentals are very sound and he looks like he could contribute to a team in need of some solid forward play.

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