Omri Casspi, the NBA's first and only Israeli player, will re-join Maccabi Tel Aviv, the club he left in 2009, if the NBA lockout bleeds into the regular season, reports the Jerusalem Post via Marc Stein. Maccabi's owner David Federman told The Post that the team has been in advanced negotiations with Casspi's camp on a deal that would bring the Israeli star back for the 2011-12 season.
The Sacramento Kings made Casspi the No. 23 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Casspi started off his NBA career like gangbusters, but wore down over the course of his rookie season and had a rough second year. After acquiring small forward John Salmons via trade in June, the Kings sent Casspi and a conditional first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for J.J. Hickson.
Casspi was expected to lead Israel into EuroBasket 2011, where the nation is a severe underdog. But Casspi's status is uncertain after a knee injury during training.