Why is Hedo Turkoglu smiling? Well, he played his way into a possible new, huge contract. “The Jordan of Turkey” didn’t take very long to opt out of his contract and test free agency. Trevor Ariza and Turkoglu could be the two best free agents out there this year. They weren’t considered in the top 10 possible free-agents before the beginning of the year, Ariza wasn’t even in the top 30.
Turkoglu started out very slow this year, but turned it on in both the Boston series and in Cleveland. He could very well re-sign with Orlando for a major contract, a very smart choice, or could a pretender turn into a playoff team with the signing of Turkoglu? Here are some teams that could turn their fortunes around.
Indiana Pacers – This would be my personal choice, but I don’t think that the Pacers have a shot. Turkoglu’s old running mate, Peja Stojakovic did very poorly in Indiana and doesn’t have many pleasant memories of his time there. He does fit Larry Bird’s mold. He’s tall, can shoot the 3, and he’s white. I don’t think Lary Legend has a penchant for the European players, but he would look good next to Danny Granger.
Phoenix Suns – If the Suns trade Shaq for Ben Wallace and Pavlovic, they should offer Wallace a buyout, let him retire, and sign Turkoglu. He is a better shooter than Pavlovic and can spread the floor. I would love him in Phoenix.
Chicago Bulls – The Bulls will lose Ben Gordan and probably Hinrich soon. They need another shooter and Turkoglu can do everything those guys can, but he can start and play 40 minutes a game.
Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder could have a huge turnaround if they get Rubio in the draft. Turkoglu to go along with Durant and Westbrook would look like a possible playoff team in maybe two seasons. Would Turkoglu want to wait? OKC definitely has the cap room to afford a nice free agent.
New York Knicks – I don’t think the Knicks have the cap space to pull this off, but D’Antoni would like to add an experienced playoff veteran to his team. He would do well in the fast-paced system and he loves to shoot the ball. He could be the piece the Knicks need to make the playoffs.
Hedo Turkoglu should re-sign with the Magic. After his stint with Sacramento, he was a free agent and signed with San Antonio. He didn’t do very well there and got lost in the rotation. He needs to choose his next team wisely and not go after money, but try to find the team where he would fit in the best. On the right team, he could be the piece to put a team over and make a playoff run.