Originally Posted by Claudius
Kleiza is what he is. He's an undersized 4. He's a tweener. He's a nice player off the bench.
We don't need to feed him minutes as he's essentially reached his peak in development. However, Weems and DeRozan have not. They're ceilings are higher than Kleiza's. While you may disagree, that's the thinking and I'd guarantee you that almost every team in the league would follow the same pattern (i.e. develop talent over playing mediocre developed talent).
Kleiza, played poorly against the US for a freaking reason.
Yes he is a nice player off the bench and would fit on a contender. Kleiza plays efficiently allowing the game come to him. In Toronto there's no playmaker setting him up and he has to create his own offense, which he doesn't do well. I'd argue that Kleiza is a big weapon coming off the bench playing against other backups as he usually can use his size and take advantage of them in the post and shoot 3s. Yea he can play as a starter in Toronto but what's the point?
Derozan is 21 so the "sky's the limit" slogan can be applied to him. Realistically though, idk how good he can become. Def won't jump on the McGrady bandwagon and I think Derozan would be satisfied as a role player off the bench... like Kleiza in Denver. I think if Derozan becomes as good as JR Smith then that's an accomplishment. About Weems, I disagree. He's only a year younger than Kleiza and I don't see him getting any better... not a knock on him considering he's playing well. Toronto suits to his strength because he can hold the ball and create plays, usually driving to the basket. On other teams, I don't see him having the freedom to hog the ball as he frequently does year, even if he scores.
Again, I don't want to argue too much with a subjective term of what mediocre means. As I already noted, Kleiza was in the rotation of a contending Nuggets team as a 23 year old and younger, he scored 41 points in a game, was a top 5 player in Europe last season, led Lithuania to 3rd place in the World and made all-tournament team. It is what it is.
Kleiza played poorly against the US. Thanks for pointing out one, and by far his worst game, of the tournament. Reality was that he was defended by Igoudala and he was receiving double and triple teams from NBA all-stars. This was one of Lithuanians least talented teams and he was he still lead them to a bronze. I'm sure you could put Kobe on Lithuania and he wouldn't look as good as usual being triple-teamed by those guys.