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Jewish Journal

Omri Casspi’s Kings’ reign ends with trade to Cavs

JTA

June 30, 2011 | 1:52 pm

Omri Casspi. Photo by Courtney Lee.

Omri Casspi. Photo by Courtney Lee.

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA, has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sacramento Kings sent Casspi, 23, and a 2012 first-round draft pick to the Cavs in exchange for power forward J.J. Hickson in a deal announced Thursday.

Casspi, a favorite of Jewish fans across the country, had expressed a desire to be traded because he believed he was not getting enough playing time.

Both 6-foot-9-inch forwards were No. 1 draft picks by their original teams: Casspi in 2009 and Hickson the previous year out of North Carolina State.

In the 2010-11 season, Casspi averaged 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds playing 24 minutes a game, mostly as a reserve. His playing time diminished as the season progressed.

Hickson averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds, mostly as a starter.

Casspi is training to play with the Israeli national team in the European basketball championships in August.

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