Although reports were that Omri Casspi was nearing a mutually-agreed upon buyout with the Cavaliers, Casspi said that wasn't the case when talking to an Israeli newspaper.
Casspi, who had arguably his worst of three seasons in the NBA in his first year with Cleveland, denied claims that he was on his way out.
"I love Cleveland," Casspi told Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv this week. "They gave me a lot, I owe them a big one."
The 24-year-old knows that the team added depth at his small forward spot in the form of fourth-overall pick Dion Waiters and veteran Jazz swingman C.J. Miles. But he spoke enthusiastically about improving his game to fight that pair for playing time in Cleveland's rotation this season.
"Basically, I just have to go back to playing my basketball," Casspi told the newspaper. "To be good, effective, to punish -- everything I didn't do last season. I need to go back to my old self.
"I know that the team brought more players on the wings, and everybody in Cleveland is good. But none of us is an All- Star. We don't have Kobe or LeBron there. Coach [Byron] Scott says that whoever is better will play, and I believe him."
It had seemed that with all the extra talent coming in at his spot, the smart thing for Cleveland to do would be to part ways with the 6'9" Israeli to free up a roster spot. But it doesn't appear they'll opt to do that after all.
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