Linas Kleiza inks 2-year deal to play in Turkey, becomes one of highest-paid players in Europe
Linas Kleiza, who was amnestied by the Toronto Raptors earlier this summer, has signed a two-year deal with Turkey's Fenerbahce to become one of the highest paid players in Europe, according to a tweet Thursday morning from Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears.
Exact figures are not immediately known but will likely be for approximately $5 million per year if Spears is correct about the small-forward becoming one of the highest paid players in Europe; by comparison, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar signed a three-year deal last summer that was worth approximately $10 million to play for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League and became one of the highest paid players in Europe.
Kleiza had signed a four-year deal with the Raptors in 2010 that was worth $18.8 million but in the past two seasons has dramatically declined in terms of production. Last season for Toronto, the 28-year-old Lithuanian averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 18.8 minutes, appearing in only 20 games. In January 2011, he had suffered a meniscal tear in his right knee and was ruled out for the rest of the season. He came into the NBA in 2005 as a member of the Denver Nuggets, spending four years under former head coach George Karl.