Raptors sign former MU player Kleiza

Monday, July 26, 2010 | 7:09 p.m. CDT; updated 7:27 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 26, 2010
Former Missouri player Linas Kleiza answers reporters' questions last month in Toronto after the Raptors extended him an offer. Toronto signed Kleiza to a multi-year contract on Monday.

TORONTO — The NBA's Toronto Raptors have signed free agent Linas Kleiza to a multi-year contract.

The Raptors acquired the rights to Kleiza, a former Missouri player, nine days ago when the Denver Nuggets opted not to match Toronto's offer sheet.

Kleiza played with Greek club Olympiakos last year after four seasons in Denver. The 6-foot-8 forward from Lithuania averaged 8.3 points per game and 3.5 rebounds in 301 games with the Nuggets from 2005-09. Denver acquired the forward in a trade with Portland in June 2005.

Kleiza, who attended high school in Maryland, spent two seasons at Missouri before declaring for the 2005 draft, where he was chosen with the 27th pick of the first round by the Trailblazers. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Tigers in his final season in 2004-05.

The Raptors lost free agent Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat earlier this month. Toronto also traded Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix and re-signed free-agent forward Amir Johnson, among other moves.

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