JERUSALEM — Omri Casspi of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers has signed with his former Israeli team, Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Casspi wrote last week on his Facebook page that he has signed a contract with the Israeli club. He said the contract is effective in January, when it will be clear whether or not the National Basketball Association season will be cancelled due to a lockout.
“I am overjoyed to return home to the club of my youth,” wrote Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA. “I am so excited to come home, to the best family and fans in the world.”
Casspi was traded to the Cavs over the summer after two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, where he was a number 1 draft pick. He has yet to play a game for Cleveland.
Casspi had been scheduled to be part of the Israeli national team for the fall EuroBasket tournament, but injured his knee during practice and didn’t play.
Last week, the NBA players’ union rejected the latest offer by the owners, putting the season in peril.
Jewish basketball player Jordan Farmar of the New Jersey Nets has been playing for Maccabi for several weeks.