Hedo Turkoglu wants out of Toronto

After a number of successful seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Hedo Turkoglu recently expressed his desire to leave Toronto on Turkish television. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. Following one lackluster season into his 5 year $53 million dollar contract, Hedo Turkoglu stated on Turkish television that he is actively seeking his release from the Toronto Raptors. Turkoglu follows the long line of former Raptors who also wanted out of Toronto including Vince Carter and Tracy Mcgrady.  Apparently these feelings all stemmed from the incident on March 28, 2010 when Turkoglu was benched for the first time in four years. He was apparently spotted at a Toronto nightclub immediately after missing a game due to a stomach virus. Hedo claims that he was only out for 15 minutes and went out only  when some teammates called and asked if he was sleeping. Hedo says that “these events put me off both basketball and the Raptors organization. Needless to say, the fans started to lose my love.”

Turkoglu came to Toronto with high expectations after leading his Orlando Magic on a fairytale run to the NBA finals. Turkoglu was even dubbed “Mr. Fourth Quarter”. None of these expectations came to fruition as Hedo ended his first season as a Raptor averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.

I don’t think that anyone who followed the Raptors season can seriously consider the garbage that is coming out of Hedo Turkoglu’s mouth. His season did not get off to a good start last year as he came to training camp fat and out of shape. However, most Raptor fans gave him a pass in this regards because he had finished a grueling season that included a trip to the NBA finals as well as playing internationally for Turkey. Little did we know that this was a tell tale sign for the season to come. Throughout the season Turkoglu barely brought any intensity to the table, and showed at most, brief flashes of the magic that he seemed to have left in Orlando. Raptor fans kept waiting for the man that had been nicknamed “Mr. Fourth Quarter”, but time after time Hedo came up short in clutch situations. There were murmurs from Turkoglu during the season that he didn’t have the ball in his hands enough to do the same things that he did while he was with Orlando. In an interview with Raptors colour commentator Jack Armstrong after a game against the New York Knicks where he posted season highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds, Turkoglu responded to a question with one word….”Ball.”

The problem with this demand from Turk was that whenever the ball was put into his hands he rarely did anything with it. There was no explosion in his first step, his mid-range jumper wasn’t falling, and often he would just give it off to someone else. It was evident that he flat out did not care about the game or his performance. Turkoglu was always smiling, and that’s great when you’re performing at a high level. But when your team is going through tough times as the Raptors did near the end of the season, and your play is sub-par there shouldn’t be any reason to be happy. Well I guess for Turkoglu there was and always will be 53 million reasons to be happy.

Things got so bad in Raptor land that fans started booing the prized free agent. Turkoglu said in his interview that it was the first time in 10 years that he had been booed by his home town fans, and that it made him feel “extremely bad after.” In general, I am a person that thinks that booing your own team is a stupid thing to do.  If your players are trying their best there is no reason to boo them for their bad play. How is that going to help them? However, if players aren’t trying that is a totally different story. Turkoglu is adamant in saying that he always tried his best no matter what. Yeah right. Despite the fact he played 6 less minutes than the year before even his stats can show that he didn’t bring the same type of aggressiveness that he had in Orlando. He averaged only 9 shot attempts a game compared to 13 the previous year, and only 3 free throw attempts a game compared to 5 the year before. The only thing that didn’t deteriorate was his three points shooting as he shot around his career average at 37%, but again very few of these were in clutch situations. Also, on multiple occasions with time on the clock, Raptor fans watched as Turkoglu decided to sit back, run down the clock and take a contested three with the game on the line instead of driving hard to the basket like we’ve seen in the past.

I feel that it would be best for the Raptors and Turkoglu if they could part ways. The question then is, who takes on Turkoglu’s large contract? At this point, if I’m a general manager, I sure don’t want to be taking on a guy who seems to have lost the fire in his belly. Moreover, that same guy is 31 years old. On the other hand, Turkoglu is a proven winner that has come up clutch in the past.   The Raptors have not had a upper echelon wing player ever since Vince Carter gave up on Toronto. It is obvious that Turkoglu is not going to be the answer to those problems over the next few years. If the Raptors could deal Turkoglu, maybe they will find a player that could fill that position for years to come.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com

About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

3 Responses to Hedo Turkoglu wants out of Toronto

  1. Abe says:

    Hey Man,

    Thanks for the comment, just curious, how did you find my blog? Im liking your basketball stuff, good thoughts on Robinson, although I dont think anyone counted him out of the Magic series. I had that “Oh crap Robert Horry’s got the ball for the last shot” feeling that I havent felt since my old flame the Kings suffered that atrocious game 4 loss (Circa 2002) that pretty much summed up Chris Webber’s “Talented but never ever won big” career, when Robinson came into the game. The Celtics were dead in the water at that point and needed a spark, something that wasnt going to come from Rondo or from the artists formerly known as “The Big 3”.

    As for Turkoglu, being a Kings fan from birth until they traded Mike Bibby (At which point I said enough is enough Petrie!!!), I knew just what the Magic were getting when they picked up Turk. Although it has to be said, that team was set up perfectly for him to be the option behind Dwight, gaurds that JUST shoot around a big man are only successful occasionally (Compare and contrast Wade with Shaq and old Ginobli with Duncan, shoots only when he cant drive as compared to the latter, shoots first drives later) Bosh as much as he is tall, is not a big man, he plays outside the key far too much. This alone killed Turkoglus effectiveness, he just couldnt create shots for others or himself without the ball like you said, but also without a proper big man to clog the lane at the right time. Turk needs out of Toronto, he may have gotten lazy after a long offseason, but hey put him with my Blazers or back with my Magic and boom, success. Don’t count him out just yet. Please pretty please pull the trade that Bill Simmons threw out after the Magic lost, Carter sign and trade with Turkoglu, it will work. Otherwise give me Turk for any of the swingmen not named Brandon Roy on the Blazers, he would kill it there.

    Wow, I have far too much to say about the NBA right now, Ill be blogging alot more consistently, so keep an eye out for the new posts, and keep up with what you are doing here. I like it.


  2. Why Did I go to Law School? says:

    The Raptors are in a tough spot right now…Hedo was brought in to prove to Bosh they’re serious about winning, but funny thing happened…they didn’t win. I can’t stand guys like Turkoglu who sign a huge contract and immediately regret it. Imagine being a fan in Toronto right now? Your best player is tweeting to the NBA asking if he should stay or go and then your prized free agent put up a mediocre season and now wants out. What team is going to be willing to pony up for that disgraceful contract? Toronto would be lucky if they were offered garbage talent but two less years in return for Hedo at this point. Gotta love NBA trades…


  3. thisisjay says:

    Coming from toronto i;ve seen first hand at how terrible Hedo can be..I believe the only had one standout game which was the game in New York where he was quoted for saying “Ball” after the game…Ironically the home game before against Miami I attended the game and had a Sign that made the jumbo screen at the ACC, pretty much taking shots at Hedo everybody laughed at the sign. During the timeout Demar Derozan grabbed hedo and pointed us out in a laughing manner…Hedo then went to the free throw line (made both shots) and looked directly into our section in an angry manner (which was quite hilarous). The next game in Madison Square Garden Hedo showed up to play as if he was in a Magic’s Jersey.

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