Hedo Turkoglu, Magic working on buy-out

  • Andy Flint

NBA Playoffs 2009 - Game 4 - Magic vs 76ers

The Hedo Turkoglu era in Orlando is officially coming to an end, as the Magic and the 34-year old Turkoglu are in the process of reaching a buy-out. An official buy-out has not exactly been agreed upon yet, although Magic officials are working out the details with Hedo’s camp, and expect to have some sort of an agreement reached soon.

Despite the two sides not coming together just yet, the Magic have made it clear that Turkoglu will not play for the team this season.

“Our organization has a great deal of respect for Hedo and the contributions he’s made to the team over the years,” Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel.

 

“We’ve made an organizational decision to move in a different direction. During the pendency of our buyout negotiations, we’ve mutually agreed to have Hedo remain with his family while we work toward an agreement.”
Most fans will recall that Turkoglu left the Magic after the 2008-09 season for more money in Toronto. The Magic traded young chip, Courtney lee, to the New Jersey Nets in order to bring veteran swingman, Vince Carter to Orlando. This move tied up too much money, and Turkoglu bolted to Toronto after verbally agreeing to sign with Portland Trail Blazers. Hedo struggled in Toronto, and eventually made his way to Phoenix after a season and some change. The move to the Suns was also short-lived, as Hedo played less than 30 games in a Suns uniform, before finding his way back to the Magic in a trade involving Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Jason Richardson and, of course, Turkoglu.
In all, Hedo has spent 8 seasons with the Magic, and his contributions have been huge to the team and the city. Fans embraces the 6-10 point-forward, as he dazzled with his unique set of skills, even helping the Magic to a 2009 NBA Finals appearance. Hedo only managed 2.9 points per game last season in a limited role, and with the young crop of small forwards currently under contract in Orlando, this move simply feels like the right step for both sides.
Per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
The 2013-14 season is the final year of Turkoglu’s contract, and only $6 million of his $12 million in remaining salary is guaranteed.

The full $12 million amount won’t become fully vested until Jan. 10, which is the day when any remaining nonguaranteed contracts throughout the league become fully guaranteed.

So why haven’t the Magic just waived Turkoglu already?

On one hand, team officials want to negotiate a buyout for under $6 million.

But — and perhaps more importantly to them — the Magic seem to regard Turkoglu’s contract as an asset and want to hold onto the contract until they’re convinced they’ve exhausted all options for a potential trade.

Turkoglu doesn’t want to rot away on the Magic’s bench all season. The buy-out, while offering Hedo less money, would benefit the vet, by opening his options to sign with a contender. The Magic have to make this move to provide vital minutes to youngsters, Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris, as the team looks to build something special in the coming years.

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