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Raptors Expected To Amnesty Linas Kleiza

Today is the last day teams are eligible to use their amnesty clause until next summer, and at least one club is expected to make a move before tonight's deadline. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Raptors plan to amnesty Linas Kleiza, and that Kleiza is a good bet to head overseas for the coming season.

Heading into the offseason, the Raptors only had three amnesty-eligible players: Kleiza, Andrea Bargnani, and Amir Johnson. The former two were both viewed as potential amnesty candidates, but new head of basketball operations Masai Ujiri managed to send Bargnani to New York in a deal that netted the Raptors a first-round pick.

Kleiza, 28, missed a good chunk of the 2012/13 season with injuries, and wasn't effective in the 20 games he played, setting career-lows in PER (8.2) and FG% (.333). The Lithiuanian forward played for Olympiacos in Greece prior to joining the Raptors in 2010, and figures to draw more interest from European teams than he will from other NBA clubs.

Because Kleiza was owed just $4.6MM in 2013/14, there was speculation that the Raptors would simply hang on to him, perhaps to use his expiring contract as a trade chip before next year's deadline. Amnestying Kleiza won't clear any cap room for the Raps, but it should allow the team to move below the tax threshold.

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