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Report: Raptors to amnesty Linas Kleiza

Jul 16, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

Raptors forward Linas Kleiza looses the ball in front of Magic forward Andrew Nicholson during their NBA basketball game in Toronto

Linas Kleiza has played just 20, 49 (of 66) and 39 games the last three seasons – including none in the 2013 calendar year – as he’s battled injury and below-average play. So, the Raptors forward made a sensible choice by opting into the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.6 million next season. Of course, by taking the guaranteed salary, Kleiza lost the opportunity to hunt for a more-desirable situation.

Now, Kleiza will have his freedom and his money.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

The Toronto Raptors plan to amnesty forward Linas Kleiza on Tuesday, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Kleiza played for Olympiakos of the Greek League during the 2009-10 season, and a source said his preference is to return to play overseas again.

Perhaps, there will be a market for Kleiza among NBA teams, but I don’t see why. He has a reputation for being a good shooter, but his career 3-point percentage is just 33.5. Really, Kleiza is a mediocre-at-best player with no specialty. Good teams could probably use someone who fills a more specific role, and bad teams could probably use someone with more upside than the 28-year-old Kleiza.Kleiza was successful in Greece between his four years with the Nuggets and three years with the Raptors. If his preference is to play overseas next season, that might be for the best.

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