Nuggets exercise contract options on J.R. Smith, Kleiza

Updated: October 29, 2006, 4:02 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Denver Nuggets officials said Sunday the team has exercised options on the contracts of two players, keeping guard J.R. Smith on the roster for a fourth year and retaining forward Linas Kleiza for a third year.

Denver acquired Smith from Chicago in exchange for guard Howard Eisley and two second-round draft picks on July 20. In eight preseason games, he was second on the team with an average of 14.4 points per game and shot .392 from 3-point range.

Smith averaged 9.2 points per game and 2 rebounds per game in 131 games in his first two seasons.

In the preseason, Kleiza averaged 13.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. As a rookie last season, he appeared in 61 games, averaging 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds.

Denver acquired Kleiza, the 27th overall pick of the 2005 NBA draft, from Portland, along with the 35th pick in the 2005 draft in exchange for the draft rights to Jarrett Jack.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press