HoopsHype Linas Kleiza rumors

September 7, 2010 Updates

Kleiza is not surprised at all that very few Greeks ever submit to the temptation of an NBA career. “From a Greek point of view, why would they leave?,” Kleiza asks surprised the question was even posed. “They make great money, you’re living in your own country. Greece is nice. It’s very nice. Those two teams (Olympiakos and Pantheikos) make it very hard for players to leave because of the money and stability and all those things. Greece was good. I experienced some things in Greece I will never experience again. Basketball-wise, playing for Olympiakos against Panathinaikos, you will never experience anything like that anywhere.” Toronto Sun

Raptors vice-president Maurizio Gherardini says the year in Greece completely revamped Kleiza’s game. “He is a more complete player,” Gherardini said, having seen Kleiza in the five games Lithuania played at the FIBA world championship. “He works more at both ends of the floor and I think he has learned more to use his game mixing the inside and outside better. As much as he counts on his three-point shot, he works his man close to the basket. He’s mixing things up in a more consistent way.” Toronto Sun

July 21, 2010 Updates

The Raptors have not abandoned their pursuit and remain determined to sign the defensive specialist, sources said, but that would require Barnes to accept lesser terms than he expected. Since Toronto recently spent the bulk of its $5.8 million mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza, it doesn't have the available funds to sign Barnes outright to a deal that starts in the neighborhood of $4 million. ESPN.com

July 20, 2010 Updates
July 16, 2010 Updates

The Denver Nuggets won't match the four-year, $18.8 million offer sheet Toronto has put down on restricted free-agent forward Linas Kleiza. "It was intimated to us that they won't match,'' Kleiza's agent, Bill Duffy, told FanHouse on Thursday night. "He's ecstatic.' FanHouse.com

"I respect that organization,'' Duffy said of Denver. "But (Kleiza) felt very strongly about playing in Toronto. He's very excited. He loves the international dynamics of the team (Kleiza is from Lithuania), and will battle for a starting job (with Toronto small forward Hedo Turkoglu having been traded to Phoenix).'' FanHouse.com

July 14, 2010 Updates

Bill Duffy, the agent for Linas Kleiza, believes Denver's move means the Nuggets won't match the four-year, $18.8 million offer sheet extended last week by Toronto to Kleiza, a restricted free-agent small forward. "I guess that takes them out of Kleiza,'' Duffy told FanHouse, referring to the 6-8 Kleiza, who now would be in even more of a logjam playing behind 6-8 starter Carmelo Anthony and with Harrington also able to play small forward. FanHouse.com

July 9, 2010 Updates
July 8, 2010 Updates

The Nuggets last month extended Kleiza a $2.7 million qualifying offer, but that was just to keep him a restricted free agent. He said he got no offers from Denver. "I haven't talked to anybody with the Nuggets,'' he said. FanHouse.com

“I’m glad to have him,” Raptors swingman Sonny Weems, who was on Denver two years ago as well, said. “He can score. He can shoot the ball. We’re going to need shooters next year to stretch the defence out. “He’s a real cool dude.” National Post

Kleiza terminated contract with Greece Olympiacos Wednesday. The Nuggets, Kleiza's former team before going to Greece, has 7 days to match. Twitter

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