Report: Linas Kleiza to Olympiakos

On his twitter, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has reported that former Denver Nugget Linas Kleiza has signed with the Greek team Olympiakos. Here was his exact tweet:

“Den FA forward Linas Kleiza has agreed to a 2-year, $12.2 million with an opt-out next year with Greece Olympiakos, a source told Y! Sports.”

Obviously, unlike when Josh Childress bolted last season this is not earth-shattering news. This season has made it much more obvious than last’s that being a restricted free agent in this kind of economy is practically like being held hostage. A guy like Kleiza has a home in the NBA, but not for anything but a low price. And with the kind of offers I’m thinking he was getting, he had no choice but to take this one. Spears reported that the deal has an opt-out next year so he can attempt to come back. How does this affect Denver? For one they lose a guy who has played 79+ games for them the past three years. They lose some depth as Kleiza was a guy who could step in and play power or small forward depending on the matchups. That whole ‘stepping in’ is also important considering how injury-prone both Kenyon Martin and Nene tend to be. And they lose one of their better perimeter shooters. He only shot 32.6% from the three-point line last season but in the playoffs he shot 42.5% and was a key reason the Nuggets advanced so far.

Talk about your odd teammates? Can you imagine Kleiza with Von Wafer’s super-swag and Childress’ dorkiness playing together? I can and it’s awesome.

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