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.
Interbasket.net 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.
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.
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.