Omri Casspi returning to Kings

Updated: July 25, 2014, 8:50 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Veteran forward Omri Casspi is returning to the Sacramento Kings, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that Casspi and the Kings are finalizing a one-year deal at the league minimum after he cleared waivers Friday.

The Kings drafted Casspi with the No. 23 overall pick in 2009, making him the first Israeli selected in the opening round. Casspi was traded to Cleveland after his second NBA season and spent last season, his fifth in the league, in Houston before the Rockets dealt him to New Orleans as part of the recent Omer Asik trade.

The Kings, sources said, initially considered claiming Casspi off waivers directly after his release Wednesday by the Pelicans. But Sacramento, had it put in a waiver claim on Casspi, would have been forced to absorb his entire 2014-15 salary of $1,063,384, putting the Kings into luxury-tax territory.

Because the Kings let Casspi clear waivers and will now sign him to a new one-year minimum deal, Casspi will only count against the cap for $915,243, which enables the Kings to stay under the tax threshold without being forced to release forward Quincy Acy.

Once the Kings complete the Casspi signing, they will have 14 players under contract while sitting just $61.052 under the tax line.

Casspi and Dallas Mavericks guard Gal Mekel are spending the summer with Israel's national team in hopes of helping their country qualify for the 2015 EuroBasket.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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