It’s hard to say Hedo Turkoglu actually played for the Orlando Magic last season, and in general, his second tenure with the team has been forgettable at best. Now, with one more season (and an expensive one at that) left on his deal, the franchise is trying to get rid him of without giving up too much money.
Turkoglu is signed for one more season worth $12 million, but only $6 of those are guaranteed. It’s clear both sides don’t want any part of each other anymore, so the Magic are trying to give Turkoglu the option of free agency, if he gives up on some of the $6 million he’ll get when they cut him.
There’s no doubt that the four-year, $52.8 million deal the Toronto Raptors gave Turkoglu is one of the worst NBA decisions made in recent years. He lasted only one season in Toronto before getting traded to the Phoenix Suns, not even lasting a full season there before coming back to Orlando.
With him, the Magic might have had another championship run in them, because when he returned, things were no longer the same, nor was he. From averaging over 15 points for five straight seasons on the Magic, Turkoglu dropped to around 12, with most of his offensive numbers taking a hit as well.
Last season he played only 11 times for a total of 189 minutes, and scoring only 32 points in the process. He was suspended for 20 games after testing positive for methenolone, which didn’t help his situation with the team. Türkoğlu said that he received medicine containing methenolone from a trainer in Turkey, though he did not know it was a banned substance.
At 34, there’s no chance Turkoglu gets a deal even remotely close to what he has going this season, including the $6 million. If what matters to him now is money, there’s no reason for him to settle with the Magic. If he wants to find someplace to stay, which free agency doesn’t guarantee him that (the Lakers badly need a Small Forward), he’ll take less money.