Raptors sign Linas Kleiza

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward Linas Kleiza (LYNN-as CLAY-za) to a multi-year contract as all required paperwork has now been officially filed with the League Office. Kleiza’s rights technically became property of the Raptors on July 17 when an offer sheet was not matched by the Denver Nuggets. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

“We are very happy to add a tough-minded, hard-nosed forward who will certainly get a chance to contribute given the departure of Hedo Turkoglu,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Linas has that unique inside/outside game that makes him a tough cover at a couple of different positions.”

Kleiza played last season in Greece with Olympiakos after four seasons (2005-09) with the Nuggets. He averaged 14.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 31 regular season games with Olympiakos. He shot .596 from the field, .374 from three-point range and .800 from the foul line.

In 22 Euroleague outings, Kleiza contributed 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. In the regular season he finished second in the Euroleague in scoring at 19.7 points per contest. He led Olympiakos to the Euroleague Championship game in Paris.

Kleiza averaged 8.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 301 career games with Denver. He saw action in 26 postseason games, where he averaged 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in the 2008 NBA Playoffs.

Kleiza, 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, was born in Lithuanian, attended high school in Maryland and played collegiately at the University of Missouri. He was selected 27th overall by Portland in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft.

Mar. 24, 2010 - 05669403 date 23 03 2010 Copyright imago Ane Edition Euro League Basketball Season 2009 10 Peace & Friendship Stage Piraeus Quarter Final Game 1 Olympiacos Piraeus Asseco Prokom 83 79 Linas Kleiza Piraeus with Dunk Olympiacos Piraeus Asseco Prokom 83 79 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxGRE Basketball men EC 1 Euro League Euro League 2009 2010 Piraeus Action shot Vdig 2010 vertical premiumd.