Jason Quick has the latest on Hedo Turkoglu’s visit to the Pacific Northwest, where he’ll be until Saturday. Brian Wheeler said earlier that if things continue as they have been, the Blazers might have a verbal agreement by tomorrow. Here’s some select tidbits:
McMillan, who dined with Turkoglu on Wednesday night in Orlando, has been emphatic in his endorsement of Turkoglu, urging Pritchard to seal the deal. Pritchard meanwhile said he grew to admire Turkoglu even more this spring while watching him help Orlando reach the NBA Finals.
“We need someone to get us over the hump, and we feel like he can,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard wouldn’t get into many details of what he had in store for Turkoglu. He said there will be dinners downtown and tours of the Rose Garden and Tualatin practice facility, but no trip to Mount Hood because of time constraints.
“I want to show him the city,” Pritchard said. “Part of the recruiting process is making sure he understands what the city is about in terms of how we feel about basketball and how important it is, and to show him the beauty of the city, and that he is wanted here.”
If you’ve been following us on Twitter, you know that I’m feeling pretty good about the potential signing, especially if they follow up with a trade for Hinrich. Two huge factors for me are prolonging Roy’s career by taking pressure off him to initiate so many pick-and-rolls and late-game offense, and boosting Oden’s development by giving him a tall passer with court vision that can actually give him assists when he’s got position in the paint.
But we can talk about all that when/if a deal is agreed to, as there’s a ton of things to consider. For now, I just want to say this. Kevin Pritchard and Nate McMillan think they have their guy and now they are trying to sell him on working in Portland for the next 3-5 years. Even if you are against the move, as I know many are, don’t try and sabotage things by yelling “Go back to Turkey” and like comments should you see Turkoglu touring the streets of downtown Portland. You may not agree (and it matters less than I probably make it sound), but let the people who have got the Blazers this far do their job. Most importantly, represent your town, because however things go down, the national eye in the sky will be narrowed on the City of Roses when they do.