HoopsHype Zalgiris Kaunas rumors

September 30, 2011 Updates
September 18, 2011 Updates

According to Sport24.gr, Zalgiris Kaunas reached an agreement with Chris Kaman for one year with NBA out when the lockout ends. Sportando

August 15, 2011 Updates

The reality of the NBA lockout is hitting home as the Nuggets' point guard Ty Lawson — one of the team's top players — said today he has signed to play with a team in Lithuania called Zalgiris Kaunas. Lawson said agreed Sunday to play for this team, which also features former Nugget teammate Sonny Weems. "It's the best situation for me to go out there," Lawson said by phone. "Being at home, I'm not saying I'm a lazy person, but I want to be in the gym. And plus, it's a new experience going out to Lithuania, so why not? It was a no-brainer. "And as soon as the lockout ends, I can come right back and be with the Denver Nuggets." Denver Post

July 28, 2011 Updates

Kleiza doesn't say no to Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris "When everything is alright, we'll see in which Lithuanian team I will play. Of course, if they need me. If not, I would have to go to Toronto. Maybe they will let me join them because they own me a lot of money," Kleiza laughs. BasketNews.lt

July 27, 2011 Updates

First off, can you talk to us a bit about the process you went through with Sonny in terms of deciding whether or not to play overseas next year? What are thoughts on the team's coaching change and did that factor into the decision? Roger Montgomery: The process started in Earnest towards the end of the regular season.. I started to look at a few teams in Europe to gauge interest , and once I identified a few possible fits I did more due diligence and stayed in close contact with the NBPA about the lockout status. The coaching change though didn't have much influence on our decision.. I liked Jay, and I love Casey. I'm not dissing Jay, I just personally know Casey! So either way was cool. Raptors HQ

How hard was it for Sonny to head overseas, knowing his relationship with DeMar and Amir, and did he talk to them prior to making the decision? And finally looking past this coming season, does Sonny want to stay in Toronto? Roger Montgomery: I don't think it was hard because he isn't actually in Europe yet. But I'm sure it will be a challenge when he is there and he sees DeMar and Amir playing on TV etc. But he knows our goal, so it's worth the sacrifice. They will always be boys. DeMar had some knowledge of the potential of Sonny going to Europe, although I'm not sure if Amir knew. I know it's hard for us not to do (focus on the future) but WE, Sonny and myself, have made a pledge to only focus on Zalgiris and this season. Europe will be an adjustment, and I want him totally focused on winning, getting better in the half court, being a lockdown defender, and his three-point shot. If, I mean WHEN, he does that, he will have his CHOICE of where to play in the future! Raptors HQ

July 12, 2011 Updates

Last week's decision by Sonny Weems to leave the NBA for a season to play in Lithuania wasn't difficult at all. In fact, it was a rather easy one for the West Memphis native. Weems' one-year deal with Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania will keep him in Europe for the entire season, regardless of how long the lockout lasts. "It was very easy because I want to play basketball," Weems said Monday. "I can't sit around and wait and see what the NBA is going to do. You never know. They may lock out the whole season and a lot of players will be scrambling, trying to go overseas. I went ahead and took the deal." Memphis Commercial Appeal

"I think it's a great situation for me because with me being a free agent this year, if the lockout ends Dec. 1, we don't have time to negotiate free agency and I'd have to play for the qualifying offer, which me and my agent decided we didn't want to do," Weems said. "They wouldn't have enough time to negotiate a deal for me, so my best bet was to go overseas and boost my stock up a little bit because the NBA pays a lot of attention to overseas players. "Me playing over there will give me great experience." Memphis Commercial Appeal

July 10, 2011 Updates

Sonny Weems: Happy with my decision that I made to go to Kaunas, thanks to my new fans for reaching out to me and I can't wait to play for you guys. Twitter

July 8, 2011 Updates

Montgomery says Weems could play 70 games next season between the Lithuanian and Euroleague schedules, a good opportunity for a young player instead of losing the entire year if the NBA and players don’t reach a deal. He didn’t disclose the value of the contract. Montgomery started looking for opportunities for his players at the urging of the union, which had been telling agents to be prepared for a long work stoppage. He quickly found a match in the Lithuanian champs, a team he described as needing “one little boost to get over that hump” and believes the swingman is that player. “Sonny will be able to go in and make a true impact,” Montgomery said, helping a team “really in the middle of the pack maybe go to the top of the pack.” National Post

Weems, who turned 25 Friday, is not the quality of Deron Williams, who Thursday was nearing a deal to join Besiktas of Turkey in September if the lockout remains. But Montgomery said Weems was the first from the NBA to agree to the deal without the option to return once the lockout ends. That could be a while and Montgomery wasn’t willing to wait. “There’s no way I’m going sit by idly and wait for David Stern to decide if he wants to be fair,” Montgomery said. National Post

July 6, 2011 Updates

There’s a strong possibility that Weems, one of a handful of U.S.-based pro hoopsters conjuring profitable career choices in the midst of an NBA lockout, will spend the coming season playing in Europe. Sources say Weems is expected to sign a one-year deal to play with Lithuania’s BC Zalgiris in the coming days. Toronto Star

While Weems will have to make do without NBA-style luxuries such charter air travel and five-star hotels — European teams mostly fly commercial and sleep in the four-star accommodations provided by the host team — the signing will have its perks. He will receive the Euro-standard benefit of the use of a gratis apartment and automobile. And though the team and Weems are still putting the finishing touches on the deal, sources say it’s expected Weems will be paid an after-tax net salary approaching 1 million euros, or about $1.4 million (U.S.). That’s a relatively rich deal for a player who earned a pre-tax salary of about $854,389 (U.S.) in Toronto this past season. Toronto Star

July 5, 2011 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.