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: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2009 8:33 pm

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

Nice, the Raps got their man. I think he will be a solid addition to the squad and with a little bit of luck/success, the Raps could hold onto Bosh with a good showing this season. With the Cavs, C's, and Magic still looking strong, I don't see why they shouldn't contend with the Hawks for the 4th seed. A core of Calderon, Hedo, DeRozan, Bargnani, and Bosh is a pretty solid squad. You have a few position mismatches (Bargnani's range, Hedo's ability to have the offense run through him causing a size mismatch at the top of the key) but the only thing this squad lacks is defense. If DeRozan can use his insane athletic ability and trnaslate that into defense, they would have a nice stoppe ron the defensive end. Aside from his potential, no one else is a really great defensive player. Bosh isn't big enough underneath to be an imposing figure in the paint and Bargnani isn't athletic enough and doesn't seem to have that knack for shot-blocking.

Still think the Raps will vie for a playoff spot in the 4-6 range and could be trouble come playoff time. Hedo showed what type of monster he can be, which earned him this fat payday.

Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: July 4, 2009 8:27 pm

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

haha no they weren't...LA was CLEARLY the better team

Since: Jun 16, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2009 8:05 pm

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

If he were truly thinking "championships" and not dollars, he would not have opted out in Orlando this year, because the Magic were a missed layup and a missed free throw from winning the NBA Championship this year.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:44 pm

Hedo, Raptors agree to 5-year, $53 million deal least we get paid in money...not IOU promissorry (sp)...

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:41 pm

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

Have fun paying all those taxes from Canada.  But then again, if I were Turkish and I had a choice between Portland and Toronto, I would probably have picked Toronto.  Much more culturally diverse. 

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:37 pm

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

Chasing the money seems to be the common thread with free agent signings so far (outside Artest signing for the mid level exception). Let's see if Odom signs with the Lakers or goes chasing the dollars.

Since: May 28, 2008
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:28 pm

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

Well he might as well quit cause they not making the playoffs. Turk chose money over winning! Blazers were he best situation but get your money!

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:24 pm

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

We all thought that Colangelo was shrewd by bringing in Jermaine...alas; the whole thing fell apart when the lynchpin known as Calderon was injured.

Humphries and Evans should provide some quality minutes...Hedo can do some Point-Forward relief for Calderon...Derozan will penetrate instead of long-range shooting but we will still require more depth.

At the end of the day...consider this an all-in move for a short-stacked Colangelo in an effort to retain Bosh..

Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:14 pm

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

you are so right Rap fans will not accept anything less than a second round win and if not goodbye Colangelo.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2009 7:11 pm

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

Now we'll see if Colangelo can get really creative with sign-trade of the free agents. This move will be the defining moment for Colangelo. If he succeeds in returning the Raptors to the playoffs and a second round win than he is a genius...failing that; he'll be unemployed by May the 1st...

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