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: Feb 14, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 6:50 am

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

Isn't Turk's agent Lon Babby the dude that used to play the wolfman?

Since: Jul 5, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 6:22 am

3 million dollars...

As a Portland fan, I was not excited to get Turk at first.  Then the hype consumed me and I was thrilled.  Later I was pissed to find out he rejected us Portland fans, citizens of the great Northwest.  Now I am bummed a bit still, but I believe we are in a great spot with money still to spend.  
Did he really choose Toronto for 3 million dollars more?  I would.  I haven't had the luxury of earning a million dollars a year, but I am sure it would be nice.  
The distance to Turkey from Toronto or from Portland is not as big as you might expect.  Flying over "the Pole" from Portland to Frankfurt is about 12 hours. The Toronto flight is about 9 hours.  Flying from Portland to Toronto is 5 hours.  So, it's a bit longer, but don't exaggerate.  I fly to Europe often and the difference of 9 or 12 hours is not much once you are dead tired anyway.  He's still got to go to Turkey, so that must add another 3 hours once he even gets to Europe.
Is Toronto a better city than Portland?  Well, that debate is nonsense.  Do you think the players that are in Orlando, Sac, Utah, OK C love being there all year?  Many former Blazers still have houses in Portland and live there.  I am not sure how many former Toronto players still live in Toronto.  It'd be an interesting stat.  Which NBA team is home to the highest percentage of former players that played for their team?  I'm guessing NY and LA.  
Does Turk fit in better in Toronto?  That's funny.  With Portland, he had an All-Star shooting guard, the sixth best power forward, an up and coming center.  In Toronto they have..... oh wait, they have to get rid of a few more players before they have room for his contract.
Enjoy Toronto.  We'll be happy with Lee, Miller, Odom.... or even no one.  

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 5:52 am

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

 It's a love / hate relationship with CBS sports for me... I love coming on here and reading the stories and the insight from the columnists/various intelligent posters. It seems that the number of 'intelligent' message board posters goes down all the time, or maybe it's just that the stupid ones are on the rise. To all of the posters who said 'Hedo is stupid for signing with Toronto because the tax rate is way higher' (and there were quite a few), do some damn homework before you make baseless, moronic and misguided patriotic comments about countries other than your own. The US is a great place to be, but it is not the center of the universe, and Canada is head and shoulders ahead of our neighbour to the South in quality of life index FYI. The tax he would be paying in Canada is actually substantially lower than in the States. He would be paying 29% in Canada and 35% in the US of A in his tax bracket (which is quite a bit higher than mine ,lol) I don't mind people stating their opinions, everyone is entitled, but if you are going to spew propaganda, at least check and see if it has any merit.... that means make sure it is true, before you try to sway other peoples opinion.

Since: Jun 29, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 5:44 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 2:12 am

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

LBJ staying chance is probably 80/20
Wade's is 50/50
Bosh's is flat out zero. No way he inks a deal with a team that has never shown it can contend when he's going to be getting offers from the Bulls, Clevland, Miami, who all have had great recent success, or the Knicks who can throw around the fact they don't mind having a 100M payroll and pay 30M in luxary tax to win.

Well I think the Hedo deal was worth it for Toronto yeah they have no shot at winning the whole thing but they are trying to put fans in the seats making the playoffs do that and Hedo proved he is a playoff performer against the CAVS but when it comes down to it great pick up by the Raptors...

LOLL PUT FANS IS SEATS? you have never been to a game in Toronto..... they have sold out soo many games the past 3 years. and the 1s they haven't they haven't been close to selling them out.

So before you make an assumption of trying to put fans is seats you should come up to Toronto and watch a game at the ACC. They dont need to try to put fans in seats cuz they already do, now there just trying to make Bosh stay which he probably won't.

Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:42 am

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

I hate you Hedo.. If that is your real name.. When you tell someone something you have to be honest.. Dont lie.  Blazers dont need bs .. Blazers running for champs. toronto running for lotto pick good luck.

Since: Dec 29, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:34 am

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

Thanks Big Brad, I have been a Orlando Magic fan since the Penny Hardaway and Shaq days, and I can remember back about 4 years ago when we won the first game of the season and then proceeded to lose the next 19.  I think that was the year before we got Dwight and probably the reason we had such a bad record.  I mean I cant hate on the man for what he brought to our team, he was really clutch.  I see the owner of the Raptors thinking a little bit like the owner of the Magic where he is surrounding his big man (Bosh) with alot of three point shooters, Bargnani, Graham, Hedo.  I didnt know about the big tax increase north of the border, but if its as high as everyone on these posts said it is, the move makes even less sense.  I do not see the big fall off that you are predicting, expect Orlando to make a move for Rasheed because we only have 9 people on our depth chart at this time on and we need a PF in the worst way.  If they can do that, then we would have Dwight, Rasheed, Lewis, Carter, and Nelson.  It is vital for Orlandos success to keep Pietrus, JJ, Anderson, and Gortat on the bench, none of them are viable starters.  But all are great bench players.  Either way expect Orlando to add a player or two before free agency is over. 

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:32 am

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


Since: Aug 19, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:23 am

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

As a Raptors fan i do not like this move. Is Hedo really what we want? Another big slow european guy, dont we already have that player? This isn't as bad as Jermaine O'neal last year which i hated because Hedo does have some game but Hedo will not lead the Raps to the Promiseland.

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: July 5, 2009 12:23 am

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

The Portland fans on here should relax with the hate for Hedo. I'm sure he didn't choose Toronto over Portland for the extra $3 million only, I'm sure it had a lot to do with Toronto being a much better fit for him as a team and a city. And I believe John Salmons did the exact same thing to Toronto about 3 years ago, he verbally committed to Toronto then backed out and signed with Sacramento. Toronto didn't hold any grudge against him. John Salmons isn't as high profile a player as Hedo, but that could have been a great signing for Toronto, and instead they got Fred Jones. Now as for Hedo in Toronto, I'm kind of looking forward to him coming into Portland and hitting that game winning shot at the buzzer.....again.

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