Amnesty Options: Linas Kleiza

One of the beautiful things about the 2011 lockout (if you're an owner or General Manager) was the amnesty clause. In short, it allowed for dumb management teams the one time (per collective bargaining agreement) opportunity to get out of a contract they handed out. The Nets used the amnesty clause the first chance they got, cutting Travis Outlaw right before the 2011-2012 season began. You can read more about the problem with the amnesty clause here.

The first amnesty pickup we discussed was Mike Miller, and today we're gonna talk about Linas Kleiza, formerly of he Toronto Raptors.

The 2012-2013 season

How was Kleiza's 2012-2013 campaign? Let's get into the numbers:


Linas Kleiza

Small Forwards in 2012-2013

Games Played



Minutes per game



True Shooting percentage



Assist rate



Turnover rate



Usage rate



Rebound rate






Win Shares per 48



Oh boy. The 20 games played can be explained as he dealt with a knee injury.

Moving on from his knee, his play wasn't much to write home about. He shot a career low True Shooting percentage of 46 percent, and when we peruse the shot chart, it's ugly all over. He was below average in practically every area of the court in his limited game action. He has the reputation of being an elite shooter (probably based on his big playoff stretch in 2009), but the reality is that he's only shot above thirty-five percent from downtown once.

He's never been known to be a great defender, and the team defensive metrics bare that out when he's on the court. If he were to wind up in Brooklyn, his shortcomings would be covered up defensively by Kirilenko and Garnett.

Would he help the Nets?

Even though he wouldn't cost much of anything, the Nets don't need him. He's never been a good-great shooter and is coming off the worst season of his career. Add to that he isn't much of a passer, rebounder, or defender. And most importantly, his knees are a bit of a ticking time bomb.

Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk said some words about Kleiza too:

Perhaps, there will be a market for Kleiza among NBA teams, but I don’t see why. He has a reputation for being a good shooter, but his career 3-point percentage is just 33.5. Really, Kleiza is a mediocre-at-best player with no specialty. Good teams could probably use someone who fills a more specific role, and bad teams could probably use someone with more upside than the 28-year-old Kleiza. Kleiza was successful in Greece between his four years with the Nuggets and three years with the Raptors. If his preference is to play overseas next season, that might be for the best.

Easy call here: don't bother with Kleiza.

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