Former Raptors Linas Kleiza Decides to Play in Turkey



If you play basketball at the collegiate level, you’ve probably dreamed of going to the NBA right? Well times have changed and the NBA isn’t the only league that pays well anymore. Just ask Linas Kleiza. He was amnestied by the Toronto Raptors after the regular 2012-13 season was over, but things are starting to look up for Linas.

Turkish league’s Team Fernerbache has signed Kleiza to a two year deal making him one of the highest paid European players according to Sports Illustrated. If reports are correct, he will make $5 million per year. Kleiza wasn’t even one of the NBA’s most recognizable faces and his performance has steadily declined, but that doesn’t seem to have any bearing on Fernerbache’s decision.

At this point, you have to wonder why players wouldn’t start to consider playing overseas now more than ever. The whole idea is to make the kind of the money that allows lifetime financial security, or is  it? While playing overseas for these lucrative contracts may sound appealing at first, you have to remember that the overseas glory isn’t the NBA glory. There isn’t the globally televised title runs, and players are away from home at least ¾ of the year.

If money is the motive, then Kleiza’s decision is understandable, but a vote around the NBA might not yield the same openness to overseas play. There’s hasn’t been any word from Kleiza on his feelings about playing overseas, but there are 10 million reasons he should be happy.