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Magic, Hedo Turkoglu discussing buyout

Jul 9, 2013, 6:54 PM EDT

Hedo Turkoglu

In some ways, Hedo Turkoglu became the face of the Orlando Magic during the 2009 NBA Finals. Dwight Howard was unquestionably Orlando’s top player, but with point guard Jameer Nelson battling injury, Turkoglu became the Magic’s primary ball-handler and leading scorer. All eyes were on him.

After the series, a 4-1 loss to the Lakers, Turkoglu signed a five-year, $52.8 million contract with the Raptors. He spent a disastrous season in Toronto and was so desperate to leave, he agreed to lower the amount of money guaranteed in the final year of his contract as part of a trade to the Suns.

Now, Turkoglu, since traded from Phoenix to Orlando, might soon find himself a free agent thanks to that renegotiation.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Turkoglu’s 2013-14 salary is $12 million, but only $6 million of that is guaranteed. ShamSports.com doesn’t list a guarantee date, but all NBA contracts become guaranteed Jan. 10.

The Magic are clearly negotiating with Turkoglu, because they don’t want to pay the full $6 million. In exchange for accepting less money, Turkoglu would get the freedom to join the team of his choosing.

But if I were Turkoglu, I wouldn’t give up a single penny.

Magic have no use for a 34-year-old who played just 11 games last season due to a failed steroid test and injury. They’re rebuilding – maybe even tanking – and Turkoglu just gets in the way of giving minutes to young, developing players, and he’s expensive to boot.

If the Magic can’t negotiate a reduced buyout, perhaps they’ll try to trade Turkoglu to a team trying to reduce its payroll. Orlando could accept a player making about the same salary with a draft pick sweetener, and the team acquiring Turkoglu could waive him, saving the difference between the traded player’s salary and $6 million. For Turkoglu, that scenario would still leave him a free agent – just not as quickly.

But if Turkoglu hopes to land on a contender, it doesn’t really matter if he’s there early in the season. The whole point is to be with that team during the playoffs. A later buyout might limit the number of teams pursuing Turkoglu, but it’s just as likely it allows him to better assess which teams have the best chance of winning big.

If any contender wants Turkoglu next season, he’ll get there one way or another. He shouldn’t sacrifice money in the process.

  1. nhimunoz314 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    come on down to Houston

  2. htownred34 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Not sure how he’d fit here, I’d rather go for a solid starting power forward and a backup guard

  3. boltsup - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Come to the Lakers, I guess…. We need a 3 lol

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Oh no we don’t! It’s bad enough we have Steve Blake. Don’t need another one of my least favorite players of all times. If you wanna go that route, why don’t we just beg Darko to come back to the States and find a way to trade for Kwame Brown. And give Smush Parker a ring as well. Psssh! Thisss guy^

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:03 AM

        ^^ Wowww…a lot of Turkey Glue fans out tonight! Sooooorrrrr-ryyyy

  4. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Turkeyglue is still in the league? I guess I vaguely remember something about him cheating…

  5. norvturnersneck - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Come to LA and help us lose! 2014 draft here we come.

  6. badintent - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Turk last seen in Turkey discussing a play with AI.

  7. saint1997 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Tas Melas

  8. sportsnut101 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    U have the leverage here hedo they either release u n u get all 6 mill or u get buyout for 5

    Take the six n call there bluff

  9. mitchrog - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    ok, Im missing something here, someone explain why ANY contending team would take him on, as a player, not as ballast to be dumped. I understand why from a dumping salary perspective but from HIS point of view, doe she really think a Houston or a Clippers team couldnt find any better than him for LESS money? I always loved Turk in O-town, but he has really went down hill and its time to open your childrens basketball camp and show up at regional awards dinners for the free prime rib for autographs

  10. unxpexted1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    The Turkish MJ!!

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