Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa?

The Suns would send seven-year veteran guard Leandro Barbosa and late-season addition Dwayne Jones to Toronto for Turkoglu, a 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey with versatile skills to shoot from long range and be a playmaker.

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HoopVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be a mutually beneficial trade.

Simply put, the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns must pull the trigger and make the Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa rumor a reality.

After all, Turkoglu was a disaster for Toronto. The prize of last summer’s free agent class arrived at training camp with a belly and attitude. He never got fit – partly because he spent a sufficient amount of time enjoying the city’s nightlife – and promptly requested a trade.

Worst of all, he has four years and $40 million remaining on his contract. Staying with the Raptors isn’t an option. Fans and media would eat him alive.

Enter the Phoenix Suns and Leandro Barbosa.

If healthy, the Brazilian blur would provide Toronto with offense either as a starting shooting guard or off-the-bench. He’s quick, exciting, and likeable. Fans and media would instantly take to him.

The money would make sense, too. The Raptors would escape from under Turkoglu’s big ticket and only be responsible for the remaining two years and $15 million on Barbosa’s deal.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a one-sided affair.

Phoenix has always had interest in Turkoglu –dating back to his run with those glamour teams in Sacramento. His scoring and basketball IQ would fit Seven Seconds Or Less perfectly.

Turkoglu, a laid back individual, would be happier in Arizona. Frankly, the point forward underestimated the intense glare of Toronto’s five daily newspapers, talk radio shows, and fan base.

So Raptors GM Bryant Colangelo and Suns owner Robert Sarver must make this happen.

–Oly Sandor.

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