How much is Hedo Turkoglu really worth?

Hedo Turkoglu declined his $7.3 million dollar option for this season, so it’s safe to assume he wants considerably more than that in a new contract. His agent insinuated they’re looking for at least $10 million in a long-term deal. Is Turkoglu, at 30 years old, really going to get that much?

Here are ten comparable players to Hedo Turkoglu and their salaries this season (and by the way, Turk’s PER this season was lower than all of these guys). To the Magic, Turk’s value falls somewhere toward the top of this list because of his importance to Orlando’s system and his established bond with Orlando’s key players.

Richard Jefferson: $13,200,000
Gerald Wallace: $9,500,000
Tayshaun Prince: $9,500,000
Josh Howard: $9,945,000
Mike Miller: $9,028,575
Corey Maggette: $8,275,862
Ron Artest: $7,400,000
Stephen Jackson: $7,140,000
Shane Battier: $6,448,900
John Salmons: $6,077,151
Trevor Ariza: $3,100,000 (contract year)

The average among these 10 players is about $9 million, which seems like a fair number for Turkoglu. If the Magic can keep the contract at four years — $36 million over that span seems good — then the Magic should pull the trigger.

But to other teams, is Turkoglu really worth close to eight figures? John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the best method we have of comparing players. Turkoglu’s PER this season was less than Travis Outlaw, Marvin Williams, Grant Hill, Rudy Gay, Anthony Randolph and Richard Jefferson. And PER often punishes player who are shut-down defenders — something Turkoglu is not.

We all know the intangibles of Hedo Turkoglu — his ball-handling skills, his abilities to create mismatches, his knack for shooting well in the clutch — are why he’s so valuable to the Orlando Magic. But it can’t be ignored how much Turkoglu fell off from last season to this season.

2007-08: 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 45.6 FG%, 40.0 3P%
2008-09: 16.8 points, 4.9 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 41.3 FG%, 35.6 3P%

It’s not like 30-year-old players regularly bounce back after down years. It’s hard to imagine the Magic, or any team, think Turkoglu’s career year of 2007-08 is the norm. The Turkoglu we saw this season is likely what most people expect out of Turkoglu going forward. Is 16-5-5 with a poor shooting percentage worth $10 million?

I’m not saying the Magic shouldn’t sign Turkoglu. Like I said, for $36 million over four years I’d sign him on June 30. And I’ve been a longtime supporter of re-signing Turk, who I believe is underappreciated by the hometown fans.

But there are a lot of reasons why the Magic wouldn’t be out of their minds to let some other team cough up big money for Turkoglu.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this. Orlando’s best five-man unit this postseason was Alston-Lee-Pietrus-Lewis-Howard. That’s right – Orlando’s starting lineup sans Turkoglu was the team’s most efficient unit. And all three of Orlando’s five-man units with negative production featured Turkoglu.

These stats are in no way definite or proving, but they’re worth mentioning. Is Turkoglu worth it?

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily