Hedo Turkoglu Opts Out—Finished in Orlando?

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Hedo Turkoglu Opts Out—Finished in Orlando?
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The deal that sent Vince Carter from the New York Nets to the Orlando Magic will apparently send Hedo Turkoglu packing.

Lon Babby, Turkoglu’s agent, admitted that he had notified Orlando management earlier this week his client would opt out of his current contract with the Magic.

Babby also said that GM Otis Smith made Turkoglu an initial offer that was, as Smith put it, a "jumping off point."

Apparently Turkoglu is looking for a bigger payday, and Smith and the Magic instead jumped on Vince Carter.

The Carter deal brings the Magic into an uncharted area, namely, the luxury tax level, for the first time in franchise history. With Turkoglu demanding a big payday, it is obvious that another team will have to pick up the tab.

First reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Smith admitted Thursday that re-signing Turkoglu would be difficult considering Carter’s price tag.

Perhaps if Turkoglu had come through for the Magic in the NBA Finals, Orlando would have been reluctant to deal for Carter, a 10-year veteran. But it is Carter’s closeout ability, something the Magic lacked against the Lakers, that ultimately cinched the deal that sent Rafer Alston, promising young guard Courtney Lee, and backup center Tony Battie to the Nets in exchange for Carter and rookie Ryan Anderson.

Carter has averaged 23.5 points during his 10-year NBA career. But it’s not only his standout perimeter shooting and ability to stretch the floor for Dwight Howard, but his knack for setting up pick and rolls, the Magic’s bread and butter, that makes him a perfect fit in Orlando.

Turkoglu, on the other hand, averaged 16.8 points this season and is due to be paid $7.3 million for the final year of his six-year contract. However, Babby believes that Turkoglu can expect a substantial offer from other NBA teams. "We will see what the market holds on July 1, but that market will surely be robust for Hedo."

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