The Raptors made a surprise splash late Friday, reeling in playoff standout Hedo Turkoglu, who was reportedly heading to Portland before spurning the Blazers’ offer for Toronto’s five-year, $53 million deal. Apparently Turkoglu’s wife favoured the city’s multi-culturalism, which is fine by me, but likely isn’t going to sit well with Portland fans. Oh well, now we’re even for when the Blazers stole the great Mighty Mouse in ’98.
Personally, I’m loving this signing. Turkoglu is a bird of a different feather — a big man that can shoot, handle the ball and thrives in crunch time, as was evident the past two seasons when he turned himself into an all-star and Orlando into a title contender (with help from Superman, Rashard Lewis and Ron Jeremy, of course). Turkoglu averaged career highs of 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in 2007-08 and was solid last year in a slightly-reduced role, helping knock off LeBron and take the Magic to a thrilling five-game Finals.
Overall, a nice signing and a no-brainer for Bryan Colangelo, who needed to make something happen this summer or risk going the route of Rob Babcock. If nothing else, the addition of Turkoglu is a sign the Raps are serious about contending and should sit well with a certain big man that is scheduled to be a free agent one year from now.