Goodbye ‘Rip City’, hello ‘T-Dot’: Turkoglu’s Carlos Boozer style signing boosts Raptors
Since joining the NBA, the Raptors have had issues signing free agents. Outside talent mostly overlooks the ‘Dinos’, while stars drafted and groomed by the organization typically head south at the first chance possible. In picking Toronto, Turkoglu, a prize free agent, has validated the city, at least to sceptical outsiders, as a basketball mad market …
Breaking NBA news mixed with analysis …
Their News: "Free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu changed his mind Friday and decided not to join the Portland Trail Blazers, opting instead to accept a five-year $53 million offer from the Toronto Raptors, sources told ESPN.com.
A source close to the discussions said Turkoglu had given a verbal commitment to the Blazers on Thursday, then alerted the team on Friday morning that he was having second thoughts. By mid-afternoon Pacific time, the Blazers were told the deal was dead and Turkoglu would be signing with the Raptors."ESPN.com Ric Bucher
Our Very Quick Analysis: Thanks, but no thanks.
After verbally agreeing to a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, free agent Hedo Turkoglu has turned his back on ‘Rip City’ and will reportedly sign a five-year, $53 million pact with the Toronto Raptors.
Currently, there’s little information on why Turkoglu went ‘Carlos Boozer’ on Portland and changed his mind. However, the Turkish swing boosts a struggling Toronto franchise.
Since joining the NBA, the Raptors have had issues signing free agents. Outside talent mostly overlooks the ‘Dinos’, while stars drafted and groomed by the organization typically head south at the first chance possible. In picking Toronto, Turkoglu, a prize free agent, has validated the city, at least to doubting outsiders, as a basketball market.
For the first time since Vince Carter, the Raptors have a perimeter wing who creates mismatches on the offensive end. For instance, Turkoglu has the size to shot over smaller guards, while also possessing the speed and handles to drive past slower forwards. Best of all, he wants the ball with the game on the line.
Of course, there’s the looming Chris Bosh sweepstakes. Suddenly, the soon-to-be free agent has a supporting cast: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, young DeMar DeRozan and now Turkoglu. This move should influence Bosh’s decision to sign an extension and provides some insurance if he leaves next summer.
Simply put, Portland’s loss is Toronto’s gain.
What do you think of Turkoglu reneging on his verbal agreement with Portland? And what impact will he have in Toronto? Let us know in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.