Report: Raptors Offer $20 Million Deal To Nuggets Restricted Free Agent Linas Kleiza

After playing for Olympiakos in Greece, Linas Kleiza is back in the NBA. He has signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors.

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Nuggets Decline To Match Kleiza Offer Sheet

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, signing Al Harrington allowed the Nuggets to not match Toronto’s offer to Linas Kleiza:

Harrington signing by DEN will clear way for L. Kleiza to go to TOR after restricted FA signed offer sheet recently, Y! Sports source said

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Report: Raptors Offer $20M Deal To Nuggets Restricted Free Agent Linas Kleiza

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports report that the Toronto Raptors have signed Linas Kleiza to an offer sheet worth $20 million over four years. The Nuggets have seven days to match the offer or Kleiza will become a Raptor.

Tim Ziller at NBA FanHouse offers his thoughts on this potential deal:

[...] With Olympiakos, Kleiza was the Euroleague's top scorer for the 2009-10 season. He was also named to the All Euroleague first team.

In four seasons with the Nuggets prior to his Greek sojourn, the Lithuanian made his name as a tough, versatile scorer with solid (if imperfect) defensive chops. The problem in Denver had always been the presence of another talented small forward: one Carmelo Anthony. Kleiza is ill-fitting at either shooting guard or power forward, and when Anthony is neither injured or suspended, the minutes just aren't there to give Linas the run he deserves. In Toronto, Kleiza would be wedged behind Hedo Turkoglu. Given what we saw from the Turk last year, I think Raptors coach Jay Triano would have little trouble finding minutes for Kleiza at the expense of minutes for Turkoglu.

Ziller also speculates that a sign-and-trade deal is possible. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.

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