So we broke the news in our most recent podcast and thought we were pretty on top of it. Turkoglu to the Blazers!
Oops. Make that…um…the Raptors!
As Hedo becomes the latest player to use the NBA Finals as a catapult to an inflated contract (James Posey being last year’s big winner), I’m looking beyond the 5 years and 53 million. What we care about is the implications this signing will have on European basketball. Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. Rudy Fernandez: After letting the Blazers brass know he was perturbed by their courtship of Turkoglu, they laid the offer at Hedo’s feet anyways. As it is, Rudy believes he could make more money in Europe, and maybe this Hedo saga will be enough to make him reconsider. He has already had informal discussions with Olympiacos, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow.
2. Anthony Parker: FACT: Parker is a 2-time Euroleague MVP. FACT: The Raptors drafted USC’s Demar Derozan to be his replacement. FACT: Anthony Parker can still shoot lights out and defend. GUESS: Parker will be back in Europe again in a few months.
3. Shawn Marion: This is a long shot, but Marion has often griped about being disrespected and undervalued in the NBA, and big European money could remedy the chip on his shoulder.
4. Carlos Delfino: The Raptors are expected to renounce the rights… to Delfino, Parker and Marion in order to clear cap space for the Turkish wing. Last summerDelfino signed a 3-year deal with the Russian squad BC Khimki, who will play in the Euroleague in the 2009-10 season. Now, the Argentine guard will have a choice to make if another NBA team comes calling.
5. Nicolas Batum: The loss of Turkoglu ensures that the Frenchman will keep his role as the Blazers’ starting small forward. Head coach Nate McMillan will surely demand more offense this year out of the athletic swing man unless they can sign a high scoring free agent.
6. The Toronto Raptors: The NBA’s only non-US team will toss out an All-World starting lineup with Spaniard Calderon at the point, Turkish Turkoglu at the 3 and Italian Andrea Bargnani at power forward. Chris Bosh will play center and rookie Demar Derozan looks to be the starting shooting guard on a Toronto team that sorely needs some depth.