hedo-turkoglu
Top 5 Myths with PEDS in the NBA.
Friday , Nov , 01 , 2013 Michael Brouillet

Top 5 Myths with PEDS in the NBA.

If you think performance enhancement drugs aren't in the NBA you are crazy and here's why.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Faster recovery, pathetic testing, and more $$$.

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Forbes Magazine’s Top 10 Most Overpaid NBA Players
Tuesday , Oct , 22 , 2013 Matt Formica

Forbes Magazine’s Top 10 Most Overpaid NBA Players

Forbes Magazine released it's report on the Top 10 Most Overpaid NBA Players.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  Aren't most NBA ballers overpaid?  I mean they get paid millions of dollars to do something most people would do for free.

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Turkoglu suspended 20 games for positive steroid test
Thursday , Feb , 14 , 2013 Matt Formica

Turkoglu suspended 20 games for positive steroid test

Apparently football players, baseball players, and Lance Armstrong aren't the only ones using performance enhancing drugs.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  Steroids are all over sports, and now the NBA is joining in the effort to prevent them.

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Tuesday , Mar , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Gone Too Far: Why Orlando MUST trade Dwight Howard

One source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a popular television show called Intervention where families confront a sick individual battling an addiction.

Perhaps you have seen it on A&E. Perhaps not.

Hopefully, someone in the Orlando Magic ownership group has seen Intervention. And hopefully, they confront President Alex Martin about his disease: appeasing Dwight Howard.

Sure, Howard is the top center in the NBA, but he has yet to win a championship, an MVP trophy, or even develop a go-to move on the offensive end.

He is raw, immature, and has handled his pending free agency like a teen pop diva. Annoying teen crooner Justin Beiber is more professional than Howard.

Still, the Magic continue to give Howard whatever he likes, or whatever they think he’ll like in order to have him stay.

They’ve assumed several bad contracts in an attempt to give Howard a worthy supporting cast. Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu all backfired and destroyed the team's financial flexibility.

Recent reports have surfaced that the Magic are chasing Monta Ellis because they think a shot-happy, crass combo guard will convince Howard to play through 2013 and sign a long-term extension.

HoopsVibe has given our opinion on Ellis before. He's not the answer.

Today, reports are surfacing that Magic President Alex Martin has told Howard he can decide the fate of coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.

Sadly, the inmate is now running the entire asylum.

Van Gundy and Smith may deserve to be fired. This is not Howard’s decision to make, though.  He is the player. Van Gundy is the coach. Smith is the manager.

If Martin offered to fire Van Gundy and Smith to appease Howard, then a point of no return has been established.

Simply put, Howard can't return. Suppose he signed an extension with the Magic. No coach, executive, or teammate would criticize him because doing so may get them fired, traded, or released.

Bottom line: good organizations do not operate in such a fashion.

So Magic ownership must intervene. They must empower Smith to immediately get the best possible package for Howard - even if that’s 80 or 90 cents on the dollar - because keeping him would encourage dysfunction.

Then ownership must review how the entire organization, top to bottom, has handled 'Howard-gate' and make changes. Appeasing an NBA superstar is a disease that must be cured.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  

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Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Andrei Kirilenko returns to ‘Motherland’ Nets?

Source confirms that Andrei Kirilenko is on his way to leave CSKA Moscow and join New Jersey Nets where he will sign a multi-year deal.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s back from the motherland. And will play for the NBA's version of the motherland.

Word is the New Jersey Nets, who are owned by Russia’s richest man and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov, have signed Andrei Kirilenko, Russia’s best basketball player, to a multi-year contract.

This is hardly a surprise. During the lockout, Kirilenko played for CSKA Moscow, a Russian club side owned by (surprise, surprise) Prokhorov.

Here’s the question: how much?

As in how much cap space did the Nets use. Remember, the soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise must save cap space to trade for Orlando Magic post Dwight Howard, which may also mean taking the remaining years of Hedo Turkoglu’s toxic pact.

So today the Nets are better after signing Kirilenko. However, it’s the next move everyone is watching.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash: ‘I prefer to stay in Phoenix’

As a veteran, Nash said an NBA championship ring was still a strong lure for him, but he said he would not change teams to achieve that goal.

"Every player wants the ring. We were very close to it many times. Changing teams may be a way. But I don't think I will join another team; I prefer to stay in Phoenix. Hopefully, we can go further next season," said Nash.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Steve, hope is not a strategy for you or your Phoenix Suns.

While visiting China on behalf of his sponsors, Nash told the assembled media his preference was to close his eyes, cross his fingers, and ’hope’ his Phoenix Suns achieve better results.

Lets be clear: what else can Nash do?

He’s too classy to publicly call out Robert Sarver, the Suns’ thrifty owner who refuses to spend on the necessary talent to contend, let alone win a championship.

He’s too classy to publicly call out GM Lon Babby, who first acquired Hedo Turkoglu and then sent the Turkish swing to Orlando for another underachiever in Vince Carter.

And he’s too classy to publicly call out his teammates, who seem a little too interested in taking shots at each other via the media.

Right now, Nash can only grin and bear the Suns. Of course, he can hope. Sadly, this is what the future Hall of Fame point guard has been reduced to.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard would ‘Never’ join LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and Heat

Seems that a guy like Dwight Howard, nearly 7-feet tall and answering to "Superman," would be a perfect fit at Comic-Con, where he talked about both his budding career as a voice over actor and his basketball future. What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple ... but that's Rock's outfit." The Heat? "Never."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be like the Greasers combining forces with the Socs', or the Capulets breaking bread with the Montagues, or Paris Hilton ‘re-friending’ Kim Kardashian.

Or, like a want-to-be-superhero telling the Comic-Con masses he’d never join the villains, the bad guys, the capped-out Miami Heat.

Give Howard credit. He can charm a crowd -even if that crowd spends weekends playing D&D, Call of Duty, and comparing the old Star Wars trilogy to the new Star Wars trilogy.

However, this is bigger than Comic-Con. Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, hate the cross-state Heat. They hate Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, known as the 'Three Kings'. And they hate arrogant Heat exec' Pat Riley.

There's little Howard can do. The NBA is locked-out. His Magic will lack the pieces, unless Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu rediscover their past form, to topple the Eastern Conference champion Heat.

Howard will opt-out of his contract next July and likely join another superstar. Perhaps something happens with the Lakers -if Jerry Buss falls out of love with Andrew Bynum. Perhaps he links up with Deron Williams and the Nets.

One thing is certain: Howard would 'never' join Miami.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jul , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard upset Magic didn’t consult him on Arenas trade?

Howard found out when the rest of us did: once the trades were completed. Turns out, Howard had a problem with that.

“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more,” Howard said in a radio interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How much input should a top employee get from management? Well, some –if you're an NBA superstar.
 
Dwight Howard, the All-World center for Orlando, is frustrated Magic GM Otis Smith didn't consult him before swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades.

Perhaps Howard has a point. Perhaps he should have received a heads-up from Smith. After his comments, he and the team are both at fault.

Smith knows better. He knows the culture of the NBA. And he knows he must appease his superstar and make the required phone call to Howard before changing the make-up of the team.

Howard knows better, too. Phone call or not, he gains nothing by commenting publicly on a situation that is done. It sounds like he isn't pleased with his new teammates. And it sounds like he wants a say in personnel matters.

Of course, looming over Orlando like an ominous rain cloud is Howard's free agency. Next July he can opt-out of his contract, hit free agency, and sign where he likes.
 
Smith's failure to provide a supporting cast may well lead to Howard leaving Disney World and partnering with a superstar in a major market. Like Deron Williams and the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets.
 
No doubt about it, this complicates everything.

It will take years for the Magic to recover if Howard leaves. Their shiny stadium will no longer be full and, similair to when Shaquille O`Neal left for the Lakers, the Magic will become a have-not franchise.

So the supporting cast is a touchy subject.  And Howard's comments won't help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 
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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic interested in Carlos Boozer?

I've talked to people who believe that Chicago will shop Boozer, but you have to keep in mind that his stock is at an all-time low right now. He disappeared in the playoffs and there's a reason Chicago is talking about moving less than a year after signing him. It'll be tough to move him for anything of substance, especially considering how much he's owed over the next four years. With that said, if he does become available, the Orlando Magic will certainly express some level of interest.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carlos Boozer wouldn’t convince Dwight Howard to forgo free agency and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

So the Magic should think carefully about trading for Boozer, and assuming the remaining 4-years and $65 million on his big-ticket contract.

Boozer would be the latest in expensive, overpaid players who couldn’t help superstar Dwight Howard achieve his goal of an NBA championship.

There was Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter. This duo were then swapped mid-season for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades. All four failed miserably.

A frustrated Howard is now angling for a trade. If he doesn’t get it, the five-man will likely leave Orlando as a free agent in two seasons.

Howard would see Boozer for what he is -a talented but injury-prone player, who the Chicago Bulls dumped one season after signing him as a free agent.

It doesn't matter that Howard and Boozer are close, often hanging out together in the summer. Basketball is business. Friendship is personal.

Magic Executive Otis Smith should instead focus on Chris Paul. The New Orleans point guard, who can also become a free agent in July of 2012, is the type of talent that could convince Howard to stay.

Paul and Howard would form a terrific inside-outside duo. They’d attract other free agents, co-stars, and role players. They’d compete for years to come.

Almost every other player, including Boozer, won’t be enough for Howard to recommit to Orlando.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 
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Saturday , Apr , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Smith and Magic will say ‘No’ to offers for Howard

With Dwight Howard in the final year of his contract next season, Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith is fully prepared to receive a host of offers for the All Star center.

"To say it hasn't happened before is crazy, so, yes, I expect it to happen," Smith said Friday. "And the answer will be the same as it always is: No."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote Nancy Reagan, Otis Smith will just say ‘No’.

Of course, the Orlando Magic GM won’t be turning down drugs, but trade offers for Dwight Howard, his franchise face and superstar five-man.

Smith has no choice but to say this. And he has no choice but to justify his ‘No’ with public declarations that Howard, who can become a free agent in July of 2012, will re-sign in Orlando.

This may or may not happen.

Howard may re-sign because he’s loyal. Or he’s comfortable. Or he likes having his own team. Or the new Collective Bargaining Agreement might have a franchise tag clause, which may mean he has to stay.

The opposite is also true. Howard, for any number of reasons, may leave.

He may desire a change of scenery; he may leave for a bigger market to maximize marketing opportunities; he may leave to join a fellow superstar or two and enhance his chances at winning a championship.

The last scenario would be on Smith. He has tendered several big ticket contracts and swung many blockbuster trades, but has failed to surround Howard with a legit co-superstar.

After all, Smith signed Rashard Lewis to a mammoth pact and then swapped him for Gilbert Arenas, who has a longer contract for more money.

Both players underperformed. Ditto for Vince Carter. Smith acquired ‘VC’ from the New Jersey Nets before sending him to the Phoenix Suns for Hedo Turkoglu –another expensive, underachieving player.

So Smith has backed himself into a corner. His fate, like the Magic’s, hinges on Howard re-signing.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Feb , 19 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Rumor: Howard to join Bryant and Lakers in 2012?

During media availability on Friday of All-Star Weekend, Dwight Howard was asked about the possibility of becoming a member of the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2012. "As of right now, I’m in Orlando and that’s the only thing on my mind, is getting our team back to the Finals,” responded Howard.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: At some point during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard will surely say to close confidants: “man, I could get used to this.”

The ‘this’, of course, is the massive market of Los Angeles. And perhaps, these few days convinces Howard to opt-out of his contract in 2012, and sign with the Lakers as a free agent.

And ‘this’, of course, is a problem for Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic. The massive five-man is their franchise face, resident superstar, and premier player.

If he leaves, the Magic’s championship aspirations go with him. Otis Smith and Stan Van Gundy will have a lottery team playing in an empty new arena.

So, how do the executive and coach of the Magic convince Howard to sign a long-term extension?

First, they find him a real co-star. Not Jason Richardson. Not Gilbert Arenas. Not Hedo Turkoglu. This trio combined can’t hold Kobe Bryant, even if The Black Mamba would be in his mid 30s by 2012.

Smith and Van Gundy must remind Howard big markets are no longer the be-all, end-all with respect to marketing. The internet means players can be global superstars in Orlando, as well as Los Angeles.

Finally, they should appeal to his loyalty. The Magic are, and will continue to be Howard’s team, while the Lakers belong to Bryant, a five-time champion.

Smith and Van Gundy would be wise to continue communicating with Howard. Or come 2012, he’ll land in Los Angeles. Except this time it won’t be for a weekend.

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jan , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant in LA?

All of Orlando has seen this haunting movie before. The Magic know what's out there, too. They're aware of the rumbles in circulation that Howard secretly longs to make the same cross-country trek to Los Angeles that Shaquille O`Neal mapped out in 1996, with one source close to the situation insisting that Howard and Lakers star Kobe Bryant are far closer pals than people realize.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We’ve seen this before. Franchise post leaves the Orlando Magic, signs with the Los Angeles Lakers, and wins multiple championships next to Kobe Bryant.

Technically, Dwight Howard is a ways away from pulling a Shaq-Fu and leaving the Magic as a free agent –the big man can exercise an option on his contract in July of 2012.

However, the rumors and rumblings were loud enough for the Magic to initiate two blockbuster trades last month, acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu.

Will the combo guard formerly known as The Hibachi, J-Rich, and Turkoglu appease Howard?

After all, Howard loves the spotlight. He loves flashing his pearly white teeth for the cameras and busting jokes for reporters. Unfortunately, Orlando is small; so small he can’t maximize endorsements and get another legit superstar to join him.

Without a premier wing-man, Howard has little shot at a championship in Orlando. He needs help; really good help to beat the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in a seven-game, do-or-die series.

Howard knows this, so leaving Orlando for a major market like New York or Los Angeles remains a possibility. Of course, the Knicks have Amar`e Stoudemire, while the Lakers have Kobe Bryant.

For personal and professional reasons, Howard would prefer Los Angeles. He and Bryant are friends, and would form a deadly inside-outside combination. A Howard-Stoudemire pairing sounds enticing, but could be awkward.  

In the coming months, there will be more talk of Howard joining Bryant in Los Angeles. Orlando can quiet the talk and re-sign their superstar by winning a championship.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Dec , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jason Richardson: ‘The trade didn’t catch me off guard’

"The trade didn't catch me off guard at all. I knew when they wouldn't talk about an extension that I wasn't going to be there the whole season,'' Richardson said before the Magic played the San Antonio Spurs. "They wouldn't even sit down and talk to us. I kind of figured when they were dodging calls from my agent, something was going to happen.''

Richardson, who is making $14 million this season, was pushing hard for the extension in Phoenix, preferring to avoid free agency this summer. He was riding a strong playoff performance last spring and a fast start this season, knowing his stock would never be higher.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Such is life with the Phoenix Suns and Robert Sarver.

Sarver is the thrifty owner of the Suns. And he’s become even more of an Uncle Scrooge since his banking and real estate holding were decimated by the economic meltdown.

Most of the Suns’ movable big tickets –like Richardson’s expiring $14 million contract – get moved.

Richardson, despite being the team’s leading scorer, wasn’t getting re-signed. Especially since the trade with Orlando allowed the club to escape the final three years and $35 million remaining on Hedo Turkoglu’s pact. 

Credit the Suns, who were dealing from a position of weakness, for getting back value from Orlando. For instance, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus are talented two-way players.

Gortat and second-year post Robin Lopez will form a nice one-two punch in the middle, while Pietrus and veteran Grant Hill give the Suns a pair of shutdown swings.

It’s no surprise Richardson was traded. It’s a surprise the Suns got so much for him.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Dec , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Magic trade Carter to Suns for Turkoglu and J-Rich

The Orlando Magic, already in serious trade talks with the Washington Wizards about acquiring Gilbert Arenas, have agreed to a deal in principle with the Phoenix Suns, according to league sources.

The trade returns former Magic star Hedo Turkoglu, along with Jason Richardson and Earl Clark, to Orlando in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 first-round pick and cash considerations.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like Wu-Tang Clan said, ‘cash rules everything around me’.

No doubt about it, cash is a major part of the reported swap between the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. The Suns don’t have any cash. While the Magic do.

Phoenix owner Robert Sarver lacks resources. His banking and real estate holdings were hard hit by the economic recession. He wants to keep his beloved Suns, but only if he can run the club on the cheap.

Vince Carter has only one year guaranteed on his $17 million per annum contract, which will provide the thrifty Suns with financial flexibility. Mickael Pietrus is a useful swing; Marcin Gortat offers muscle down-low.

Best of all, the Suns are out from under the remaining four years and $40 million of Hedo Turkuglo’s pact.

The Magic, on the other hand, have resources. After dropping five of six games, the club is prepared to shake up its roster. Money doesn’t matter.

The Magic will welcome back Turkoglu and assume his big ticket, especially if they do the expected and send forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.

Jason Richardson’s skill and expiring $14 million contract will also be a fit in Disney World. 

Look for these sorts of trades to continue in the polarized NBA. The haves like Orlando will spend. The have-nots like Phoenix will cut salary.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Hedo Turkoglu on Toronto Raptors’ struggles: it’s not the players

Hedo Turkolgu was predictably booed in his first return to Toronto on Sunday.

“People have to realize it’s not always the players,” said Turkoglu. “People just got to see what’s really going on and make a judgment after that. I’m not a random guy. Chris (Bosh) was an all-star. Other guys, all-stars, too. You have to ask them what was the reason that they left. Then people will realize . . . instead of just going after the players. (Vince) Carter, Tracy (McGrady), whatever. I know (Bosh), I hope he doesn’t get booed. He gave a lot of good stuff for this organization. I think he deserves to be welcomed in a nice way.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hedo Turkoglu is right.

Ultimately, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is at fault for the miserable state of the Toronto Raptors. The wealthy sports property owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, MLS’ Toronto FC, the Air Canada Centre, and the Raptors.

This company prints money. Hand over fist. Despite the Maple Leafs’ strong start, winning comes second.

Fans know this. They hold MLSE accountable. They criticize GM Bryan Colangelo and the organization while sippin` double-doubles with cream at Tim Hortons, by the water cooler at work, over Molson Canadians at the pub, and during 3-on-3 runs at the playground and ice rink.

However, Colangelo doesn’t play the games. Turkoglu does.

Colangelo, for all his errors in judgment and misgivings about assembling a team of Euros from every semi-republic on the other side of the Atlantic, punches the clock and is professional. While in Toronto, Turkoglu’s effort and professionalism was, well, mediocre.

With a $53 million contract and skills to burn, the Turkish swing became a target. Five daily newspapers, three national sports channels, and some of the game’s most loyal fans went at him.

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it became personal. Toronto and Turkoglu had no choice but to part ways this summer.

Hard feelings still exist. They’ll always be there, too. So Turkoglu should expect Toronto fans to boo. Instead of complaining, Turkoglu would be wise to accept his share of the blame.

After all, the organization didn’t arrive at training camp fat and happy. The organization didn’t go through the motions all year. And the organization didn’t skip a game with the flu and hit up the clubs just a few hours later.

Turkoglu did.

The sooner he accepts this, the better off Turkoglu will be. As for MLSE and the Raptors, they may be beyond help.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Sep , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jared Dudley ‘not optimistic’ about early extension from Phoenix Suns

"It would be nice," Dudley said of an extension. "I'm not optimistic. My mindset is to go out and play my last year and go as far as we can. At the end of the year, I know if we win, I'm going to have a good year. I do a pretty good job of keeping healthy. My goal is to come out and have a better year than last year and have the team better. When a team is successful, everybody usually does pretty well. Look at Channing (Frye). $30 million. Tell him (to) let me get a little bit of that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Since getting traded to the Phoenix Suns, he’s done things the right way.

For instance, instead of complaining about his lack of minutes in the latter half of the 2009 season, Jared Dudley lost weight, increased his outside range, and improved his defense.

The results were obvious: Dudley became a key part of Coach Alvin Gentry’s bench, often taking the floor in key situations.

After his successful 2010 campaign, a lesser person would get frustrated by not scoring an extension before the October deadline.

Dudley won’t, though.

He knows the thrifty Suns only have so much money to spend, especially after assuming Hedo Turkoglu’s big ticket and giving Channing Frye a $30 million extension.

So Dudley could end up playing out his rookie contract and becoming a restricted free agent. 

It won’t be an issue. Dudley will do things right. He’ll likely have another nice year and let the money and contract situation sort itself out.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe in the comment box below. 

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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should shut up and take the high road

“People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore,” he said in a phone interview from Turkey. “It’s not just the players who see this.”

Bryan Colangelo recently accused Chris Bosh of quitting on the team during the second half of the 09-10 season.

"It’s funny that people will talk behind your back,” Turkoglu said of Colangelo. “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things.

“Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors. I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.

“I just don’t understand why you would say these things,” he added. “Like I said, that organization has problems.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They've all moved on, so it's time for the high road.

This spring and summer, Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo and former players Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu have exchanged words through the media.

If you're keeping track, here's a recap:

After seven years in Toronto, Bosh signs as a free agent with Miami. The way he leaves, tweeting constantly and smiling on television, alienates Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.  

Colangelo unofficially suspends Turkoglu at the end of last season for unprofessional behaviour. Turkoglu requests and receives an off-season trade to Phoenix.
 
End of story, right? Wrong.

In late July, Colangelo tells the Fan 590 radio station that Bosh 'checked-out' on the Raptors after the All-Star game. Bosh responds angrily. Turkoglu slams Colangelo and the organization.

Got all that?

The above saga resembles a junior high tiff between tweenie Twilight fans, and not the inner workings of a professional sports organization or professional athletes.

The key word is professional. Professionals don’t initiate nonsense. Professionals don’t get caught up in nonsense. Professionals are busy with their jobs.

Perhaps Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should just remember the ancient law of Omerta, where to quote super agent Arie Gold 'silence is golden`.

All involved may not be familiar with The Godfather or Entourage, so we'll try another route. They should remember the saying: 'if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all'.

Their mud slinging has made a bad situation worse. Thankfully, Colangelo now gets this and had little response to Turkoglu's recent comment.
 
"I still consider hedo a friend in this business and wish him well again in Phoenix, " he said.
 
Unfortunately, the damage is done. All three have taken a hit.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Making sense of the Toronto Raptors` makeover

While executives with the Raptors or the Charlotte Bobcats have yet to confirm the trade, multiple media outlets and even some of the players involved have said Toronto is putting together a multi-team deal that will see last year’s free agent signee-turned-disappoinment Hedo Turkoglu sent to the Phoenix Suns while Jose Calderon will be sent to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Raptors would get guard Leandro Barbosa from the Suns, along with a traded player exception worth $2.7-million (all currency U.S.), while Charlotte is sending both Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler to Toronto.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is making moves like he’s on a home makeover show.

Except he’s changing centers, forwards, and guards. Not blinds, wall colors, and furniture.

In one week, Colangelo remodelled a Raptor squad that missed the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and made a habit of imploding down the stretch.

Out is superstar Chris Bosh, 2009 free agent prize Hedo Turkoglu, and platoon point guard Jose Calderon; in are former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa, defensive stud Tyson Chandler, and former Most Improved Player of the Year Boris Diaw.

Colangelo also drafted power forward Ed Davis, re-signed Amir Johnson, and tendered an offer to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza.

How the new parts fit together is unknown. However, the Raptors have improved in three areas: defense, attitude, and cap flexibility.

Chandler, Davis, and Johnson instantly add a get-stops attitude. Of course, this is also an addition by subtraction situation; Calderon is the NBA’s worst defensive point guard.

With better interior defenders, the skilled Andrea Bargnani can slide from centre to power forward, his natural position. This will help the Italian on both ends of the floor.

Turkoglu was a problem all year. He arrived out of shape, underperformed, and spent too much time socializing before requesting a trade. And now he`s gone.

Meanwhile, Bosh gave his all and, with the exception of the last ten days, behaved like a professional. However, the losing took a toll. He and the club both needed a change.

Best of all, the Raptors gained cap space. For instance, Turkgolu has four years and $40 million remaining on his deal, while Calderon is on the books for three years and over $30 million.

Coming back is Chandler’s expiring pact for $12 million, while Barbosa and Diaw each have two-year contracts for a combined $32 million. This financial flexibility can be used to sign free agents or retain in-house talent.

Toronto will certainly be different in 2011. But will Colangelo’s latest remodel job and improvements lead to more wins and a post-season birth in a revamped E»astern Conference?

-- Oly Sandor.


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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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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kleiza offer sheet latest example of Colangelo and Raptors’ flawed vision

The Raptors have signed Nuggets restricted free agent forward Linas Kleiza to a four-year, $20 million offer sheet, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, get the impression Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is desperate?

The former golden boy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will either get nothing or Mario Chalmers and a trade exception - which is pretty close to nothing - from the Miami Heat for superstar Chris Bosh.

Instead of regrouping and developing a cohesive plan, instead of laying out a clear vision going forward for the Raptors, Colangelo is doing the opposite. He’s reacting.

Case in point: today’s news the organization is tendering a pretty fair contract to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza, a skilled Euro’ scorer, who believes he is above getting down-and-dirty on defense.

Haven’t the Raptors seen this song and dance before? Don’t they already have a couple of finesse swings who believe getting-stops is for the hired help?

So what’s Colangelo thinking? Simply put, he's not.

For years, there’s been a serious disconnect between the style the Raptors want to play and the skill-set their players have. And this is the two-time Executive of the Year’s fault.

For instance, the club has talked publicly of wanting to be a get-stops, defensive-minded club. This was Sam Mitchell’s mandate. Ditto for Jay Triano.

However, Colangelo too often drafts, signs, or trades for soft foreigners, who simply can’t get it done in their own end. His go-to is the skilled Euro from a tiny, unpronounceable republic across the Atlantic Ocean.

Last year, the club started Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu. All are skilled Europeans. All are below average defenders.

Kleiza is a nice player, but more of the same for Toronto, which is a problem.

It’s time for Colangelo to start thinking clearly. Or it’s time for him to follow Bosh out the door.   
 
--Oly Sandor.

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