Blog Entry

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

Posted on: July 4, 2009 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2009 7:19 pm
Hedo Turkoglu has agreed to a five-year, $53 million deal with the Raptors, admitting through his agent, Lon Babby, that he changed his mind after giving a verbal commitment to Portland.

The saga took presumably its final turn Saturday when Babby briefed reporters on Turkoglu's verbal commitment, his second thoughts while touring the Blazers' facilities on Thursday, the surprise offer that came in from Toronto on Friday morning, and finally the breakdown of the talks with Portland and the agreement with the Raptors.

"He's committed to Toronto," Babby said on the phone Saturday. "We acknowledge that the process has been a tough one. The moratorium was designed to give free agents time to deliberate and make a decision. Hedo had given a verbal commitment to Portland, and went out there with every intention that he was going to follow through on it. It just never felt right to him, and Toronto jumped in unsolicited with a proposal."

Turkoglu got $3 million more than the Blazers were offering, and Babby has a promise from Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo that he will make whatever roster moves necessary to create the cap space needed to make room for Turkoglu. That involves, at minimum, renouncing the rights to free agents Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker.

UPDATE: Turkoglu met with Blazers coach Nate McMillan Wednesday night in Orlando and gave his verbal commitment before traveling to Portland on Thursday to tour the facilities. The plan was that Turkoglu was going to Portland to finalize the deal.

But Babby said Turkoglu began having second thoughts upon arriving in Portland. It was widely known that the other team that coveted him was Toronto, which has a large Turkish population, is a "cosmopolitan city" (according to Babby), and is several hours closer by air to Turkoglu's homeland. It was the city Turkoglu's wife was said to have favored from the start of the free-agent process.

But the Blazers made a swift and aggressive push for Turkoglu, becoming the first team to contact him at the start of the negotiating period at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and putting their cards on the table: five years, $50 million, as reported here that morning. But a rival team executive who spoke to early Friday accurately predicted that Toronto would jump in with a pre-emptive offer and that Babby -- a shrewd negotiator -- would be willing to wait for Colangelo to clear the necessary cap space to follow through on it.

It turns out that by early Friday, Turkoglu already was seriously doubting whether Portland was the right fit and Babby already had communicated his client's second thoughts to Blazers management. Colangelo jumped in with his offer Friday morning, hours before numerous media outlets -- including this one -- began reporting the original agreement between Turkoglu and the Blazers.

UPDATE: Portland's front office initially was irate with Turkoglu's misdirection, according to a high-level source familiar with the situation, who used the word "reneged" to characterize Turkoglu's decision. Another source said the Blazers and Turkoglu had "different priorities," and that it was obvious that Turkoglu and Portland wasn't the right fit. Either way, the Blazers are moving on. They're expected to make a push for Knicks restricted free agent David Lee, who has not received the anticipated interest from teams with cap space like Memphis (which acquired Zach Randolph), Detroit (which spent its money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva), plus Oklahoma City and Sacramento, neither of which is taking an aggressive posture in the first wave of free agency. The Blazers also are expected to focus on a point guard such as Sixers free agent Andre Miller, and some rival executives wonder if GM Kevin Pritchard will make a play for Lakers free agent Lamar Odom.

The Blazers, Babby said, "are feeling somewhat aggrieved, and justifiably so. We just assumed we had made a verbal commitment and we had every intention of following through on it. ... There was never any intention of hurting anybody."


Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 3:23 pm

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

What does turkish have to do wih anything? He is S E R B I A N . Because his name is Turkoglu he is from Turkey. Wow way to be on top of it.

Since: Dec 11, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 3:04 pm

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

Bluebood - the fakers didn't win 5-1.  Try not to be a complete mor0n if you're going to post on here.
I love all the whiny little blazer fans.  Awwww, poor babies, Hedo didn't sign with you.  WAAAAAAA!!!!
And whoever said Hedo is a "big, slow european" is a complete id1ot.  Watch the nba every now and then.  It helps if you're going to post on boards about it.  Hedo isn't exactly fast, but I would never call him slow.  He went by Ariza consistently in the finals - in fact Ariza needed help on the weak side to guard him.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 2:38 pm

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

All these bitter comments about Turkoglu makes me really think the Raps made a great move.  I hope Colangelo has some more tricks up his sleeve, because he's got some depth issues to address.

And, what's with you Magic fans thinking that Orlando could have Turk AND Vinsanity.  With what money?  Such a fantasy some of you live in.

AND, what makes everyone think that Chris Bosh is going to bolt in 2010?  Just because he plays in Toronto?  Everything that Bosh says is in favour of Toronto.  The guy likes it here. Is that so hard to believe?  Or maybe it's because he hasn't signed an extension?  Why would he do that?  It would cost him money.  If you wait, just like King James and D-Wade, you will make more money.  Oh, and the Raptors can offer him $30 million more than anyone else.  You know anybody that could turn that down?

Thanks, Richyrich, for pointing out the truth about the tax system.  It's a myth that drives me nuts!  Not to mention that US currency converted to Canadian adds, at least, 10%.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:41 pm

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

This is the wise direction for Toronto to go in. American stars see Toronto as an undesirable destination. Europeans see the diverse city as a plus. Maybe this will make Bosh reconsider moving on? Probably not but we Rap fans can hope. Turk, Bargnani, Bosh, Jose and Roza could be a formidible starting line up if healthy.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 11:00 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

haven't the "experts" been saying(for the last 3 years or so) that the raps need defence, rebounding and toughness??? can someone tell me how Turkoglu fits into this thinking??? He's not a good rebounder, especially for his size(less than 5rpg), he's not a great defender and the Europeans in the NBA don't have a reputation for being tough!!! Marion was a better fit and would've allowed the raps tp sign other players. signing Turk totally handcuffs the team and will leave them with not enough depth when, not if, someone gets hurt. This smacks of a desperate attempt to show Bosh they r committed to winning but if this doesn't work and Bosh leaves next year, I predict Turk will "become" unhappy with Toronto and ask for a trade...leaving the raptors up u know wat creek without a paddle!!!

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 10:24 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

yet another sad case of the wife putting her own interests first and ruining her man's (likely) last chance at reaching the pinnacle of his career with a championship.

it seems like hedo was all ready to head to portland for a possible championship contender, while the wife was only interested in a place that would suit her lifestyle.

ah can't live with 'em, and you can't kill 'em      - Tom Arnold in "True Lies"

Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 10:08 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

Gotta love it. Another poster turns a 5-1 series loss into...

the Magic were a missed layup and a missed free throw from winning the NBA Championship this year.Gimme a break. And if Michael Jordan doesn't hit a few jumpers, the Jazz beat the Bulls; if the Lakers don't blow a 20 point lead, and win that big 24-point comeback game last year against the Celtics, then they win two straight.

Bottom line for the Magic is they were way off from being good enough last year, and if you think Vince Carter is the difference, that ain't happening either. With the Cavaliers acquiring Shaq, and Kevin Garnett healthy (we assume), the Magic may not even make it out of the east next year. And with Stan Van Gundy as coach, the Magic's chances lessen.

Ifs and buts excuses are for the losing team. The Magic laid down during the tough games against the Lakers, and made too many mistakes. Then in Games 4 and 5, when they could show what they were made of, they melted like the jump shooting team that they are. They weren't a few plays from winning a NBA championship. They were a few plays from being swept.

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 8:47 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

I agree with Black Mamba, Portland would have been a much better situation.  Roy, Aldrige, Oden, with Turk would be tough to beat.

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: July 5, 2009 8:00 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

Magic season ticket holder here.....also want to thank Hedo for his years in Orlando, so this post is not sour grapes.  The call to opt for Toronto was not his call, but that of his wife.  Lets just say that he does not do anything she doesn't approve of; think Cuba Gooding Jr''s wife in Jerry McGuire.

Why do people say Hedo is clutch?  Yes, he won a few games, including ONE vs. Boston in Playoffs.  However people seem to overlook the games he had a chance to come through, and either went brick city, or turned the ball over.  Or perhaps Hedo could have played a little D vs. Kobe, instead of watching him make clutch shot of his own. 

Hedo has a unique skill set for a man his size, but the advantage he typically has because of his size and length, that should translate on the defensive end as well.  Yes, he blocked Lebron from behind, but only after he was beat off the dribble, and Howard stepped up to challenge LBJ.  What will Toronto fans think after the first 100 times Hedo will slowly get back on degfense, after his patented drive to the hoop and duck of the head looking for a place to land on floor to complete his flop?  About 50% of time, Hedo gets the call, but other half he lingers on his back clomplaining to refs while his teammates run up court to play 4 on five. 

Hedo is slow of foot, nothing he can do but work hard to increase his foot speed.  He did not.  In fact, Hedo began this past season clearly out of shape, and that in his "contract year."  It took about 15 games for Hedo to get in playing shape, what happens when he doesn't have Olympics during summer and he has his payday?

Toronto, good luck.  As he has been all year for me, I say good luck to "He Don't," I'm mutch more bothered by losing Courtney Lee.  Hedo will not improve, and may hsave already began his post 30 decline. 

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: July 5, 2009 7:57 am

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal

Hey, you can't blame Orlando for their stupidity. Always giving away their big time players. Orlando is satisfied with just being in the finals. Thats all they're gonna get! Smart move would be to pay Turk.

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