Hedo pulls a U-turn on Portland and signs with Toronto

July 4, 2009

Don’t light the candles just yet Portland… Hedo has broken off talks.  Actually, I think it is for the best.  You have enough players similar to Hedo and he doesn’t make you better than the Lakers, which is what you need to worry about…ESPN.com reports the news…

Free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu has broken off negotiations with the Portland Trail Blazers, a source told ESPN’s Ric Bucher on Friday night.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Turkoglu backed out of his earlier commitment and has his sights set on Toronto. Yahoo! Sports reported that Toronto can offer Turkoglu about $6 million more than Portland, but would have to trim its roster to do it.

Friday night, a report from the National Post newspaper in Canada said Turkoglu was close to signing with the Raptors, who could have to consider renouncing the rights to free agents Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker and Carlos Delfino.

Earlier Friday, ESPN.com’s Henry Abbott reported that Turkoglu had agreed in principle to a deal with the Trail Blazers, citing sources. The report, which said the deal couldn’t be formally signed until the NBA salary cap is set next Wednesday, followed a Wednesday night dinner in Orlando between Turkoglu and Blazers head coach Nate McMillan, followed by two days of negotiations.

Friday afternoon, Bucher reported that the Turkish star remained in Portland, where he and the team were working on a deal.

After ESPN.com reported the agreement in principle, several news organizations confirmed it, using sources. Late Friday afternoon, the Oregonian reported that Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard and Turkoglu’s agent, Lon Babby, had not confirmed the deal, but that talks were continuing.

Turkoglu, a 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey who played a prominent role in the Orlando Magic’s recent trip to the NBA Finals, had been looking for a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $50 million.

So, you go to Toronto, they will not have Parker, who is a clutch shooter that will help space the floor,  or Marion, who is the slasher and rebounder.  The only team that it really makes sense to go to is the Magic.  With VC, you are better than you were last year and are in position to repeat…

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