John Hollinger of ESPN is reporting that Hedo Turkoglu will be signing for Toronto. Michael Grange of the G&M is doing the same. Apparently Hedo’s wife really likes Toronto and they didn’t even visit it when on their “free agent tour” because they didn’t even need to be convinced of it. The deal is reportedly in the 5yr/$50M range.
Hedo has reneged Portland after visiting the city. Shawn Marion, who appeared to be hours from a deal worth $36 million will now be forced to hunt for the mid-level exception. According to Hollinger, the Cavaliers, who were working on a sign-and-trade for Anthony Parker, have little chance of executing it. Linas Kleiza will also be off the Raptors radar.
Investing for 5 years in a 30 year old Turkoglu is about the same as investing for four years in a 31 year old Marion. I like the signing because he adds a whole new dimension to the team but at the same time feel that his best years could be behind him and that Orlando nabbed him when he was ripe for the picking, i.e. after a miserable year with the Spurs. Hopefully Colangelo’s not reaching on a has-been product like he did with Jermaine O’Neal. In this year’s playoffs he showed a real knack for using his size to guard the pick ‘n roll and defended Kobe Bryant and Lebron James well enough in stretches. He’s no Marion when it comes to one-on-one defense but he’s nothing to be scoffed at. Also, we finally got a guy that doesn’t start choking his heart out in the clutch.
Having the scoring touch of Turkoglu in the lineup might even allow the Raptors to test rookie DeMar DeRozan as a starter, much like the way the Magic did with Courtney Lee. With a big frontline of Bosh-Bargnani-Turkoglu, an athletic shooting guard and a hopefully injury-free point guard in Calderon, the Raptors starting five looks respectable – at least on paper. The need for a tweener off the bench still remains and suddenly the role of Delfino looks more suited to what’s needed. David Aldridge is reporting that the Raptors might sign-and-trade Delfino to Orlando.
Hedo averaged 5.3 rebounds last year which was an acceptable number since he was playing with Dwight Howard. However, playing with a rebounding-allergic and perimeter-oriented Bargnani is a different matter and leads me to believe that he’ll have to see some time with Reggie Evans just so the defensive boards are attended to. The strength of this acquisition lies on the offensive side with Hedo initiating the pick ‘n roll with Bosh or Bargnani while having the ability to finish over help defense or kicking it out over stretched arms to shooters – just like he did to Rashard Lewis.
Much like the Jermaine O’Neal trade, whether or not this is a good move will be determined by what follows it. We followed O’Neal with Will Solomon and Hassan Adams, right now we have assets in Marion, Delfino and Parker that could yield some serviceable NBA talent. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Hedo Turkoglu is 30 years old, stands 6’ 10″ and weights 220 lbs. He was selected 16th overall in 2000 by the Sacramento Kings. Toronto will be his fourth NBA team after Sacramento, San Antonio and Orlando.