NBA Roundtable

Kleiza + Von Wafer To Olympiakos

In Free Agency on August 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Yahoo Sports reports (Kleiza)

Denver Nuggets restricted free-agent forward Linas Kleiza has agreed to a two-year, $12.2 million contract with Greek team Olympiakos, his agent Bill Duffy told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

The contract has an opt-out clause, which allows Kleiza to again become a restricted free agent next summer. reports (Von Wafer)

After signing Josh Childress away from the Atlanta Hawks during last year’s offseason, Greek outfit Olympiakos is at it again, signing Houston Rocket’s sub Von Wafer to a contract worth $5 million over 2 years.

Linas Kleiza

Excellent deal for Kleiza. He didn’t have a hope in hell of getting that type of money from an NBA team this offseason.

Hopefully, we’ll see him back in the NBA in the near future because he’s a quality player.

Von Wafer

I’m surprised Von Wafer didn’t find a comparable offer from someone this summer.

The biggest key for Von Wafer wasn’t this contract, it’s his continued growth as a player and as a consequence his next contract (where he makes his money). I desperately wanted to see him stay in Houston because I thought it was his best chance for a long lucrative career.

I’m a little worried that his game might regress by heading back to Europe — he was making so much progress, in becoming a better defender and more of a team player over the last 12+ months — I’m just worried that the change may not be good for him.

I was similarly worried about Von Wafer joining any NBA team that didn’t have a defensive mindset, or had weak leadership either on the bench or on the court, or was a poor team involved in some sort of chaos. Houston was such a great home for him, and really the only place where Von Wafer showed significant development since being drafted four years ago by the Lakers.

But who knows, maybe joining an elite European team like Olympiakos will be good for him and perhaps he continues to develop at a good rate over there. Hopefully, everything works out for him on this European adventure and he manages to continue to improve and show NBA teams that he’s worth bringing back over in the future.

Update: Apparently, Von Wafer actually got $10 million for two years work from Olympiakos. That’s double what the initial report had him getting. That’s fantastic money for Von Wafer, very good decision by him to take the money.

  1. A bummer.

    Both are quality bench players who contribute. Wafer has the most potential but Kleiza really solidified himself as a wildcard of the bench.

  2. I agree. I think Von Wafer would have been the perfect backup in Boston with the leadership and emphasis they had there. Kleiza was a good fit in denver but the money was too good to turn down in Greece i bet.

  3. The Olympiacos is spending money just for spending. Kleiza is a great signing and fits very well with the style of european basketball. He will be replacing Giorgios Prentzis (the raps onw his rights) in the starting line up who signed with the unicaja in spain. But wafer? WTF?
    I never saw the guy passing the ball and now he gets a contract from an euroleague team? He’s just the tipical american style of player, there’s no way he fits in the euro game. Plus, they’ve already have childress, macijauskas, papaloukas and now kleiza. That has no sense at all. There’s the reason why the Panathinaikos beat them in the EuroLeague semifinals. Those guys are less talented but are more balanced

  4. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Wafer pass the ball.

  5. wow! rasual butler for a second round pick. He is an expiring contract with good skills. I think this is a great trade to the clips.

  6. It looks like Von Wafer got more money than initially thought … apparently he got $10 million for two years from Olympiakos. That’s too much money for Von Wafer to pass up on, good decision to take the dough and run.

  7. Olympiakos is spending a lot of money to get decent, but not good/starter NBA players. If the deals are as described, no NBA team would have given tried to be competitive. Something seems to be missing from this story???

  8. Hello Brothersteve, welcome to the site!

    I think the only way European teams can compete with NBA teams in the open market is to overpay players. The NBA is the best basketball competition in the world and all the best players want to prove themselves there. They’ll only join Euro teams if they’re being paid far more than they can earn in the NBA.

    The European superpowers can offer lucrative contracts but, at least for the time being, nowhere near as much as a max contract in the NBA. So they’re basically hunting for players who are looking for MLE type money because they can offer more money than those contracts — European contracts dollar figures are after tax, rather than pre-tax figures we see in the NBA, and they also benefit from currency exchange if contract is in Euros — so basically, Euro teams go after average NBA players who can’t get the contracts they want in the NBA.

    At least that’s the status quo for the time being … in a few more years European teams may be going after more expensive + established talent.

  9. all players,of OLYMPIAKOS Piraeus team, remember…….WIN and WIN and WIN always,everyware,anytime meet,panathinaikos.WE LOVE THAT.

  10. i dont want to make any comment,about Euro-Nba basket,becouse now all that story is for money!!Lot of money,but no job for people.

  11. Don’t beleve all that,for million-million $. Wafer for 2 year,take about 5,5 million $. Αnd Kleiza for same time,win about 8,0 million $.

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