Post-Bosh Raptors re-sign Johnson, target Kleiza
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday the signing of Denver Nuggets small forward Linas Kleiza to an offer sheet, and the re-signing of power forward Amir Johnson.
Kleiza, 25, has spent four NBA seasons with Denver. The six-foot-eight-inch Lithuanian has averaged 8.3 points during his time with the Nuggets, playing 23 minutes per game over the past two seasons.
Bill Duffy, the player's agent, told the Denver Post it is a four-year offer worth $18.8 million US. The Nuggets could conceivably match the offer within the next seven days, although indications are that it is unlikely.
Raptors GM Brian Colangelo has started the process of rebuilding his roster amid the imminent departure of franchis player Chris Bosh.
Bosh confirmed he was moving on from the Raptors after seven seasons on Wednesday, intending to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. Speculation has been rampant that LeBron James could join the duo, with the two-time MVP finally discussing his NBA future on Thursday night.
The decision by James could determine whether Miami needs to shed salary, with the possibility the Heat would send players back to the Raptors in a transaction tied to Bosh's signing. Bosh and the Heat have yet to publicly agree to terms of a deal.
Johnson's contract is reportedly worth $34 million over five years.
Johnson averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in an average of just under 18 minutes of playing time in his first two seasons with Toronto. The six-foot-nine-inch Los Angeles native spent four NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
Johnson, 23, was drafted out of high school and spent his first two seasons with the Pistons mostly in the NBA Development League. Toronto acquired him in a four-player transaction in 2009.
"We feel like we're getting Amir right as he's about to take off, and see the best basketball of his career," said Colangelo.
Financial terms of the Johnson deal were not released by the team.