Saturday, July 4, 2009

Raptors sign Hedo Turkoglu

Yesterday, I wrote how frustrating it is to be a Raptors fan. During this free agency period, Bryan Colangelo has tried to bring in impact players who have rejected offers. For example, the Raptors gave Trevor Ariza a much bigger contract than the Rockets did, but Ariza signed with Houston anyway.

Since free agency started, the Raptors were reportedly interested in signing Hedo Turkoglu. However, many Raptor fans were skeptical about Hedo coming to Toronto. Turkoglu was seeking a 5 year/$50 million deal. The big question was--Turkoglu is 30 years old now, so will he really be worth $10 million a year when  he's 35 years old? Chances are, probably not.

Considering the financial damage it would cause on the team, the Raptors were rumored to be out of the Hedo Turkoglu running. One of the teams interested in Turkoglu, the Blazers, were now the front runners in signing him. In fact, Turkoglu agreed in principle on a 5 year/$50 millon deal with the Blazers yesterday afternoon. Shortly after, Turkoglu backed out of the deal. He was apparently still interested in signing a deal with Toronto.

Last night, Hedo Turkoglu agreed to a deal with the Raptors, rumored to be worth 5 year/$56 million. Apparently, Hedo's wife wanted to live in Toronto  because of the Turkish community. There are two sides to this signing--a positive, and a negative.

On the positive, we are bringing in a very solid 3 man. In my opinion, we have a "deep in the playoffs" starting lineup with Calderon, DeRozan, Turkoglu, Bargnani, and Bosh. Turkoglu will make us much better, and he'll be ready to contribute immediately. Hedo is a very good shooter and a great performer in the clutch. All in all, this is a great deal in the short term.

However, in the long term, this isn't a good deal. When Turkoglu is 34 or 35, the Raptors will still be paying roughly $11 million. And because this deal is so big, the Raptors will have to renounce their rights to free agents Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, Anthony Parker, and Joey Graham. A big issue the Raptors have is their bench. With so much money going into the Hedo signing, our options are now limited. The Raptors have expressed interest in signing Linas Kleiza to the mid-level exception. Is this still possible? So many sacrifices are put into this signing--when it's all over, will it be worth it?

I really hope we still have our mid-level exception money. So far, I've been getting mixed reviews--some are saying we still have our MLE, some are saying we don't. Hopefully, Bryan Colangelo will be able to bring in another free agent, and make the Raptors even better. Free agency isn't over yet, so we'll just have to stay tuned.

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