The Toronto Raptors have brought in Masai Ujiri from the Denver Nuggets to be their new general manager and things have already started happening for them. Ujiri’s most notable feat in his young tenure was to complete seemingly impossible task of trading away grossly overpaid big man Andrea Bargnani.
Bargnani was a former number one overall pick who never actually lived up to that moniker. He showed promise on offense at times in his career, but never showed any ability to play defense. Moreover, Bargnani never played like he deserved the $10.75 million that he is due to be paid next season.
Before being traded, Bargnani was a likely candidate for the Raptors to use their one-time amnesty provision on. Now that he is no longer in Toronto, though, the Raptors still can use their amnesty. However, only two players left on the Raptors current roster are eligible to be amnestied: Amir Johnson and Linas Kleiza.
Luckily for the Raptors, Kleiza is a perfect candidate to be amnestied going into next season.
Kleiza is due $4.6 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, but he has not proven to be worth that money or that cap-hit. Last season he played in just 20 games and, though he averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, he shot just 33.3 percent from the field and only 30.3 percent from beyond-the-arc. That’s definitely far from being worth the money that he’s due.
If the Raptors amnesty Kleiza, it will open up their cap a little more so that they are able to make a mid-level signing that will help them going towards their future with Ujiri in the front office. It may not be as bad of a contract as Bargnani’s, but it’s still one that needs to go.