The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Israeli forward Omri Casspi and a future first-round NBA draft pick in a trade with the Sacramento Kings for JJ Hickson on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Casspi averaged 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last season, his second in the NBA. The Cavaliers were in need of a small forward and Casspi will likely step right into coach Byron Scott's starting line-up.
"We're excited to add a young, talented, tough-minded player like Omri, that we feel is a good fit for our team and can help improve our perimeter group, while also being able to obtain another important asset with the additional first-round draft pick," Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant said in a statement.
Casspi became the first Israeli ever to play in the NBA when he was drafted by Sacramento 23rd overall in 2009. The designation came with as much fanfare as it did pressure to succeed from a country that loves basketball. He started 27 games for the Kings, but his minutes were limited playing behind promising youngsters DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and Donte Green.
Hickson's days in Cleveland were numbered when the club drafted forward Tristan Thompson with the No. 4 overall pick in last week's NBA draft. Hickson has shown potential to be a star, but his on-court lapses frustrated Scott last season.