The number one story if the past few days has been this Hedo Turkoglu saga. By now you know that early Friday, Turkoglu had agreed to come to the Blazers and by Friday night he was a Raptor. No need to get into all the juicy details. No need to talk about his wife, dub him a villain, diss Turkey or bring up how ‘uncosmopolitan’ the city of Portland is. No I’m here to vent a little bit, think out loud if you know what I’m saying. I’m here to talk about why this isn’t a complete tragedy. Why? “SJ, don’t you know the majority of us didn’t want to overpay Hedo in the first place?” Yeah, I know that. You’re probably poppin’ bottles right about now. But as someone who was firmly on the ‘Hedo to Portland’ bandwagon I find it necessary to speak to those who are ‘bummed’ about this.
This is far from the end of the world people. First off, there is a ton of off-season left. A ton. Granted, by throwing all of our attention towards Hedo and not getting him we’ve lost out on every other possible good free agent in this class. We’re kind of like the guy at a bar that spent all night spitting game to a girl, things look promising and right around 1 AM he goes to the bathroom, comes back and she’s gone. The departures of Artest, Turkoglu, Ariza and Jason Kidd have made free agency about as attractive as Lindsay Lohan will be if she makes it to 40. But, since when is free agency the only way you can make a move? And last I checked, isn’t this free agent class trash? I’d love Kidd but it’s ok to lose out on him since the Knicks and Mavs are determined to overpay. Ariza? Too similar to Batum to want to overpay for that. Plus he’s not really a creator and when you have 3 SF’s who combined can bring all of what Ariza does to the table, I’m ok with passing on him. As great of a fit as Hedo would have been as another playmaker to take pressure off of Roy and help out Oden, we still have a lot of talent at the 3 position. Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster and Nic Batum..not too shabby if you ask me. Also, check out why Henry Abbott had to say earlier:
“As for the Blazers? Well, no one likes wasting all that time almost getting a deal done. But there are worse thing than being back on the market, with nearly $9 million a year to spend.”
Bingo. I mean we might as well be Bradley Cooper walking into a nightclub with thousands of dollars hanging out of his pants. Ok, maybe not that much but you get the point. Also, by losing Hedo, Portland can now concentrate on fixing the two areas that we all know need help: the PG and the PF. Remember that cap space means we can make a lopsided trade with ease. I’m just praying said trade is not for Andre Miller.
I’m not going to villify Hedo Turkoglu for doing what he felt was right for himself and his family. I’ll never do that. If he didn’t like the city or something didn’t feel right then I’m fine with him backing out now instead of pouting through his contract. I just admit I can’t understand what he’s thinking and more importantly what the Raptors are thinking. I mean you leave Orlando after a trip to the Finals, almost go to a team who needs you to get to that next level, and instead go to the Raptors? And not only that, but Toronto gives him all of their cap space?? No flexibility, I barely think they can sign Pops Mensah-Bonsu anymore. Right now their roster is looking like Chris Bosh, Jose Calderson, Hedo Turkoglu, Bargnani, DeRozan and then the fall off is incredible. We’re talking Marcus Banks, Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, Patrick O’Bryant, Roko Ukic, Quincy Douby, Nathan Jawai type incredible. It doesn’t make them that much better and if (and when) Bosh bolts they will be screwed in every single way. No one can tell me that team can win more than 30 games.
Last thing, Shawn Marion’s name is not to be spoken. Absolutely not. No.