When the 2013 season starts, Hedo Turkoglu will be 34 years, 2 days old. He has, as we all know, two years left on his contract with the 2014 season only partially guaranteed. In the Dwight Howard trade discussions, Turkoglu’s name comes up a whole bunch since he has, potentially, $23.8 million owed to him in the next two season. Turkoglu is a contract Orlando would very much like to pass elsewhere.
Turkoglu is on the wrong side of 30 and his career is coming to an end. He knows it and is beginning to envision his life beyond the NBA. It has been solid 12 year career with a 13th and 14th certainly on the way in the NBA. It would not be surprising to see Turkoglu move toward the end of his career, especially considering the sharp decline in his play recently.
The veteran forward has had thoughts on his future though, and he wants to finish his career in Turkey. Turkoglu told Hurriyet, a newspaper in Turkey, that he would like to spend at least the last year of his career playing in his homeland.
“Then you meet with a problem physically [when you] play a few more years,” Turkoglu said (translation via Google Translate). “[My] last year I want to spend in Turkey. I want to finish my career in Turkey. I spend my last year in front of the Turkish people here, I want to thank them that way. Because they are the ones who brought me to this point.”
Turkoglu has had a very successful career despite his recent struggles. It is not over yet, obviously, Turkoglu still has some work to do. He wants to make sure his last few years in Orlando a good one — if anything, to increase his trade value and show he can still play in the league.
Last year certainly was one of the most disappointing in Turkoglu’s long career. He averaged only 10.9 points per game, a low since 2004, and has seen his scoring gradually decrease since his breakout 2008 and 2009 seasons. Those two years helped him earn his current contract, one the Magic initially thought was not worth matching but have taken on after the trade in the 2011 season. His 41.5 percent field goal percentage was part of a disturbing trend of poor shooting for Turkoglu. Everyone knows Hedo can do more.
And for nearly $12 million per year, the Magic expect a lot more from him. His PER last year dipped to a career worst 11.7, showing that he did not contribute to the rest of the team through assists and other statistics like he has throughout his career. Undoubtedly, his play is tailing off and that is a bad thing for the Magic.
Thus, Orlando is trying to pass the final two years of his contract off to someone else as part of the Dwight Howard deal or another trade.
Turkoglu has put in a lot of time with the Magic and it would be nice to see him pick his play back up and finish strong with the Magic. But that does not seem likely. We all see the end of his career coming just like he does. And his numbers are declining as such.
He may have his retirement plans set, but he has one more job to do first for the Magic.