Well, so much for that idea. Hedo Turkoglu has pulled out of talks with the Blazers and is likely headed to Toronto to sign a new deal. It’s confirmed by The Oregonian, ESPN, CBS, the Grinch, Snuffleupagus and my bag of Sour Patch Kids.
From Quick’s story:
“It just wasn’t the right fit,” the source said. “When you are talking about that much money, everybody involved has to feel great. If you don’t on either side, it doesn’t work.”
ESPN’s Ric Bucher reported that Turkoglu’s wife played a major factor in the decision, as she preferred living in Toronto more than she did Portland. The Raptors were the Blazers’ staunchest opponent in the race to sign the 6-foot-10 forward, and appear to be the likely destination for the 30-year-old.
The part about his wife might be the biggest shame to me, because the City of Portland just got dissed in the national eye, when in fact it’s actually very similar to Portland. Actually the biggest shame is that everyone gets screwed here, other than Turkoglu, who gets his money and you can’t fault him at all for that. Portland loses out on the best playmaker on the market, the guy who would prolong Brandon Roy’s career by taking pressure off him on a nightly basis, the guy who would help Greg Oden develop by actually assisting to him, and Toronto is in trouble because they are going to overpay and be left with a big contract and a bad team (having had to renounce half their rotation to make room to sign Hedo) when Chris Bosh leaves next summer. So nobody wins. Great day. Lets all exchange high fives and sing songs around the campfire. In Portland or Toronto, you pick.
Of course now the Blazers still have their cap room and there is still talent on the market. I doubt they try to sign another SF because there just isn’t another one out there who can facilitate the offense like Turkoglu can, so maybe they put in a bid for Jason Kidd, or go the power forward route and go after Paul Millsap. The lopsided trade angle is open again, and it’s probably a route Kevin Pritchard chooses to explore once more (though you’d imagine they didn’t see anything they liked before). We’ll try and put together the remaining free agent options and possible directions soon, but being a holiday weekend the news might be a little slow.