With Al Harrington gone, Hedo Turkoglu next


The Magic really have only one more thing left to do this summer before commencing training camp. With Al Harrington's future finally resolved, the next shoe to drop appears to be the future for Hedo Turkoglu (there is also the matter of signing Romero Osby, but there is still plenty of time for that and Osby will be in training camp if he has not signed elsewhere).

Turkoglu is entering the final year of his contract with only half of the $12 million he is owed guaranteed. The Magic do not seem to have much interest in bringing him back and having him play ahead of Maurice Harkless or Tobias Harris at small forward this coming season.

Not only that, Turkoglu is coming off perhaps the worst season of his career. He broke his hand in the first game of the season and was out until mid-December. By then all the conditioning and strength he added in the offseason seemed wasted. Then came the news that he tested positive for a banned substance and would be suspended an additional 20 games. When he was finally eligible to return, the Magic were in full development mode and did not have much interest in playing Turkoglu at all.

His 11 appearances, 2.9 points per game and 26.4 percent shooting (4.2 percent from beyond the arc) spoke for themselves.

It seems there is less interest in returning the once fan favorite and key contributor to the Magic's 2009 Finals run. And, unlike Al Harrington, it seems many of his skills have diminished in that four-year span and have cut off much of his trade value.

Yet, Turkoglu remains on the Magic after Harrington's buyout was completed.

Perhaps there is still the hope that the Magic can get something for him in a trade. His contract has the distinct advantage of expiring at the end of the year if a team is willing to take the risk. Turkoglu though would have to prove he can still contribute.

Turkoglu will get that chance in September when he joins Ersan Ilyasova, Omer Asik and Semih Erdan on Turkey's Eurobasket squad. Turkoglu's last stint with his national team went very well as he posted 12.3 points per game and shot 40.5 percent from the floor in helping Turkey advance to the championship game against United States.

Those are not the most sterling numbers, but it was the best prolonged stretch of basketball Turkoglu had played since signing that fateful five-year, $52.8 million deal in 2009. Perhaps another strong international run would help increase Turkoglu's trade value.

Certainly, the Magic probably could afford to go into the season with Turkoglu with Maurice Harkless and, perhaps, Tobias Harris as the only small forwards currently on the roster — again, Romero Osby remains unsigned and seems to fit more of the mold for a power forward.

In Turkoglu's first exhibition game with Turkey ahead of Eurobasket he scored 11 points against Serbia. Turkoglu may still have a little bit left in him. And he will be proving that during the next month.

There is no telling whether Orlando will wait this long to make its final decision regarding Turkoglu. Assumedly, Turkoglu has to be involved somehow in the negotiations to buyout his contract (his agent is an agent after all, Turkoglu still should have some final say). If Turkoglu can retain any value, be sure Rob Hennigan will find a way to use it (if it helps the team, of course).

The waiting game remains.