At today’s final media session, Hedo Turkoglu said he wants to stay in Orlando if the team is willing to pay the price, which should be about $10 million a year. Brian Schmitz has the story:
“Opting out doesn’t mean I’m going to leave,” he said at RDV Sportsplex, where the Magic met before beginning their offseason. “I’m looking for the best opportunity for myself and my family. “I hope everything will work out for both sides and I stay here because I became Turkoglu here. It’s a good time for me to make a decision and, hopefully, everything will work out and I’ll be in a Magic jersey.” *** Asked if he might take less to re-sign with the Magic — who lost to the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals — Turkoglu smiled and said, “Depends on how much less it is. Look, I have good stuff going on here. I’m not stupid.”
The Magic recently announced that they’d be willing to dip into the luxury tax to sign Turkoglu, but I think it’s easy to say that when your team is in the NBA Finals. Now that emotions aren’t involved, will the Magic stand by that statement? Turkoglu unsurprisingly confirmed on Monday that he plans to opt out of his 6-year, $36 million dollar contract. He should gain interest from several teams, including Toronto, Detroit, Sacramento and Portland.
But if you ask me, Turkoglu staying in Orlando is best for everyone, provided the Magic can keep the contract to five years or less. Before Stan Van Gundy came in, Turkoglu was an incredibly inconsistent, fringe starter. Van Gundy’s system – which calls for Turkoglu to create off the dribble and doesn’t penalize him for missing shots – has the 30-year-old flourishing.
It’s a perfect fit for both sides. But if Turkoglu ends up garnering something ridiculous from another team – like say, $60 million over 5 years – then I say let him walk. It’d be nice for the Magic to keep at least a shred of flexibility going forward.
From Woody Wommack: “I have a feeling that it’s really going to come down to where Hedo can get the most money, and I’m not really sure if that’s here in Orlando. Turkoglu did become a star here in Orlando, but this will likely be his last big NBA contract, and I don’t think you can fault him for wanting the big bucks.”