Hedo Turkoglu had agreed on principle to a five year $50 million contract with the Portland Trailblazers, but evidently changed his mind and backed out, deciding instead to sign with the Toronto Raptors for a five year deal reportedly worth $56 million.
In order to make the math work to stay under the salary cap, the Toronto Raptors will need to waive the rights to free agents Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino and Anthony Parker. The Portland Trailblazers will have $9 million in salary cap space to offer to whichever remaining free agent they decide is worth a look.
According to several sources, Turkoglu’s wife wanted to live in Toronto. Wives have much more say in where a player ultimately signs than the average fan realizes. Toronto has much more European feel to it, and it was much more appealing to Mrs. Turkoglu than Portland, Oregon. The Toronto Raptors also have a more European roster with Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, so in that way, it will make a good fit for Turkoglu.
Another source stated that it wasn’t the money, the team, or the length of the contract, it just wasn’t the right fit.
I’m not sure how Toronto is a better fit for Turkoglu. Adding him into the mix would’ve given Portland one of the tallest starting line ups in the league and his experience would’ve been valuable to the young Trailblazers. The Blazers, with the addition of Turkoglu might have been a legitimate contender while Toronto could still be in NBA purgatory.
In order to obtain Turkoglu, the Raptors had to give up a lot of their core. This may be the move Toronto GM Mike Colangelo believes will keep All-Star Chris Bosh on the roster (Bosh will be a free agent at the end of next season).