K.C Johnson has the latest info on the Bulls workout, with Casspi providing the most interesting quote besides Henderson's jokes.
"I'm here to play in the NBA next year," Casspi said. "I don't know
how this speculation came out. Nobody has talked to me about going back
This really lowers any possible interest I had in Casspi if he's not willing to go back to Europe for another year or two. That would have been the prime advantage in drafting him.
The Suntimes had some more interesting quotes.
In Europe, we work more on fundamentals [than in the NBA],'' Casspi
said. ''Here the guys are really athletic, fast and strong. So it's
different, but I've been playing overseas with a lot of Americans, a
lot of NBA guys. So I feel comfortable playing both sides.
This brings up an interesting point with Casspi. By fundamentals, I think Casspi has a great feel for the game; motion in the offense, footwork, playing angles and things like that. Omri does do a very nice job of moving off the ball on basket cuts and making himself a good target to finish easy shots. It's probably his greatest strength.
However, he has a very slow release on his shot with somewhat unorthodox mechanics and doesn't use advanced dribble techniques in games. In that sense, I think he actually has quite a long ways to go with fundamentals.
I asked them about the draft process and the NBA,'' Casspi said. ''Now
I know what I'm going through, and I feel good. Most of my game is
one-on-one penetration, so I feel comfortable even more here than in
Europe. The most important thing for me is that I can help a team by
coming in as a rookie and [playing]. I'm trying to find the right team,
so I can keep progressing and improving my game.
Synergysportstech's log on Casspi's game has only five possessions all season for Euroleague set as isolation. So his description of being a one-on-one penetrator doesn't appear to be accurate. Granted, they only have 82 of his 102 shots logged, so he may have had another few possessions in isolation on the season, but that's 80% of his possessions logged and of those only 7% were isolation penetration plays.
He shot one for five on those plays for what it's worth which isn't a whole lot really. Almost all of Casspi's plays were either as a spot up guy or in transition. Maybe he played differently for his Israeli team, but Euroleague is much closer to the NBA level of competition and so those stats are more meaningful.
''But I have a midrange game,'' he said. ''I can shoot. I like to step
back. But I play hard and I play tough every time I'm on the floor.''
Watching Casspi, I didn't see much mid range game or step back jumpers. Again, this was just in Euroleague. Maybe he displayed these skills more frequently in the Israeli league, but that's a lower level of competition.
I have softened on Casspi somewhat after my initial stance against him. Looking at his advanced stats on draftexpress I noticed that he was one of his teams most efficient and highest volume scorers which means he's obviously doing something really well. Those things appear to be hitting the spot up three, basket cuts, and making plays in transition.
When putting a guy next to Derrick Rose, those might be the three most important offensive skills a guy could possess as they're all off the ball skills. At the same time his release speed worries me as does his ability to defend at the next level. I'm still very hesitant to think he'll translate to the next level.