Hedo Turkoglu Proves That Greed Is Not Always Good

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2009

As the NBA offseason turns, we were all taken for a loop as Hedo Turkoglu apparently reached a deal with the Portland Trailblazers only to back out and look towards the Toronto Raptors.

Why the sudden change?

It's all about the Benjamin's baby!

Reportedly the Raptors can pay up to six million dollars more than Portland.  However, they need time to settle their own affairs, particularly with Shawn Marion and Carlos Delfino.

So, Turkoglu is willing to remain patient, if it means a big pay increase.

Now I certainly am not one to fault someone for trying to seek maximum value.  The NBA is, after all, a business and this is their life.

One injury can snap a career tragically short.

In truth, Turkoglu's stock may never be higher than it is right now.  He was the driving force behind the Orlando Magic's incredible playoff run.  The proverbial straw that stirs the drink if you will.

Turkoglu has an amazing skill set that will be sorely missed in Orlando and he deserves the pay increase.  In a down economy, you should take the opportunity when you get one.

However, if Turkoglu's goal is to win an NBA title before it's all said and done, well then this decision was not the right move.

Portland is, without a doubt, a team on the rise.  The Trail Blazers are a very young but developing team around the play of guard Brandon Roy. 

It is evident that the franchise has learned from its mistakes of the past and have focused on bringing quality talents on and off the court who work well together.

Turkoglu would not only have brought his offensive expertise but a nice dose of experience and leadership for the young ball club.

Portland would not have won the NBA title next season but they would be in position to take over the crown in the near future.  After a 54 win season, Portland really seems to be the team to watch.

In Toronto, well the Raptors will still be irrelevant even with the addition of Turkoglu.

The Raptors finished last season 33-49 and missed the playoffs for the first time in a few years.

However, despite annual trips to the postseason, the Raptors have not stayed long.  The Raptors have not even sniffed the second round and don't expect that to change anytime soon.

The signing of Turkoglu still does not fix the major holes for Toronto.

The Raptors still need massive improvements in defense and in rebounding, trademark deficiencies in a Bryan Colangelo run organization.  While both of these issues were improved with a better season by former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani, they are far from fixed.

Turkoglu may be a strong offensive player but his defense is not as impressive nor will he be a huge help on the boards.  By signing Turkoglu, the question becomes whether the Raptors can even hold onto Shawn Marion. 

With Chris Bosh slated for free agency in 2010, the Raptors appear to be on the verge of a major overhaul.  Then again, Toronto has been doing that the past three seasons to no avail.

Turkoglu may get the money, but by landing in Toronto he can prepare to land in obscurity as well.

No one would exactly call Ron Artest a genius, but it is interesting to note that he was willing to take a pay cut to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Obviously the Lakers are the defending champions and the Trailblazers were out in the first round so it's not exactly a fair comparison.

On the other hand, with the Eastern Conference becoming loaded with the Celtics, Cavaliers, Pistons and Magic all looking towards a strong 2009-10 campaign, the road will not be easy for Toronto even with the talent of Turkoglu.

Then again, Turkoglu already changed his mind once, maybe we should wait until July 8th and see if Toronto can find the money to keep all of its players.

In the mean time, maybe he'll wind up with Allen Iverson in Memphis

Nah, even money has its limits.


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