Raptors to use amnesty clause on Linas Kleiza, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

The Lithuanian forward will be waived with $4.6 million remaining on his deal with Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors will use the amnesty clause on small forward Linas Kleiza before the league's deadline, reports Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears. Kleiza had picked up a $4.6 million option for the 2013-14 season, but new Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri would apparently prefer that he hadn't. Spears cites the luxury tax as an impetus to waive Kleiza.

Spears also cites a source who says Kleiza intends to return to Europe if he clears amnesty waivers and becomes a free agent. Kleiza spent the 2009-10 season with Greek powerhouse Olympiacos after failing to reach a deal as a restricted free agent of the Denver Nuggets in the '09 offseason. Kleiza ended up leading the Euroleague in scoring before returning to the NBA to sign a 4-year, $20 million deal with the Raptors.

He has only played about 2,300 minutes on that deal, however, due to injuries, the 2011 lockout and the Raptors' coaches' rotations. Notably, Kleiza played just 376 minutes last season.

Per NBA rules, teams with cap space can make bids on Kleiza's contract, which would be a low-risk move given that it expires at the end of the season. If a team did claim Kleiza, he would be unable to play in another FIBA-sanctioned league until being released from duty by the NBA team which has him under contract.

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