Former Raptors' swingman Weems joins Lithuanian team

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Former Toronto Raptors swingman Sonny Weems has joined a Lithuanian basketball team rather than wait around for the National Basketball Association's (NBA) lockout to end, his agent said on Friday.

Roger Montgomery, agent for Weems, told Reuters in an email that his client agreed to join Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania for an entire season with a contract that does not include an NBA opt-out clause.

"He will be in Europe for the entire year, no matter what the NBA does," said Montgomery. "He is a restricted free agent and the Raptors have right of first refusal to match offers when he returns."

Weems averaged a career-high 9.2 points per game, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 59 games for Toronto last season.

He was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft and was traded two days later to the Denver Nuggets, where he spent one season.

Weems was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2009 offseason and then to the Raptors as part of a multi-player trade a few weeks later.

The NBA locked out its players last week after negotiations for a new labor deal collapsed, sending the league into its first work stoppage in 13 years.

The NBA's last lockout shortened the 1998-99 season by 32 games to 50 and the current work stoppage is widely expected to have a similar, if not greater, impact on the 2011-12 season.

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)