With the draft shaking out like it did and with Bosh's departure soon to become reality it looks like the Raptors are (or at least should be) heading for a full rebuild.
To kick start a rebuild Colangelo is going to have to move Hedo Turkoglu. The problem is it takes two to tango and it's a pretty empty dance floor.
Growing up I played a lot of video games (Baseball Stars, Play Action Football, Contra etc.). Actually, I still find time for my fair share of gaming. Currently I am hooked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
In all those years of mashing the X and Y, I hit the reset button on the machine countless times, in most cases because I didn't like an outcome. That's the beauty of video games - if you don't like what's happening just start again. It's a stark contrast from real life where "Reset" just is not an option.
It's too bad such a button doesn't exist because if one did I am sure Bryan Colangelo would be mashing it mercilessly in hopes of getting out from Hedo Turkoglu's contract.
Everyone knows its a bad contract. Everyone also knows the situation in Toronto vis-a-vis Turkoglu is a bad one. Despite what appeared to be a forced apology to Toronto Raptors fans at the end of the season Turk was quick to announce he wanted a trade. He does not appear satisfied with the situation here and clearly neither are the fans. I don't need to remind you that Hedo was booed over the course of last year.
Can you imagine if he came back after demanding a trade? The booing would be hard on the ears.
Now with Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi in the fold, essentially two "project" picks, the Raptors look to be building for the future. I can only hope this hastens Colangelo's desire to move the Ottoman out of town and start a new. I for one don't want any young players exposed to a players whose "professionalism" is questionable at best.
Having made claims that there are a few teams with interest in Hedo Turkoglu, I reached out to the SB Nation family and asked the bloggers of each of the NBA teams to put on their General Manager hats to see if they would have any interest in Hedo.
The responses were less than encouraging.
From The Dream Shake (Houston Rockets):
Rockets wouldn't take Hedo, even if Bosh were to accept a deal to Houston. We've got one of the most generous owners in all of sports in Les Alexander, but he's only going to go over the luxury tax if it means bringing in championship pieces. Bosh is considered a championship piece; Hedo isn't at all, in my opinion. Think of what kind of defensive team the Rockets would become if they threw out a Brooks/Martin/Hedo/Bosh combo out there. We, essentially, would become the Toronto Raptors of the West. No offense, but that's not exactly what we'd like to do. We want A) Good defense, B) The addition of a single impact player, preferably not two, C) To save as much money as we can - Hedo would not be worth it just for the money alone.
From Rufus on Fire (Charlotte Bobcats):
If you want to trade Hedo and Jarrett Jack for Boris Diaw and Dasagana Diop, MJ would be strongly inclined to sign off on it, contingent on our ability to re-sign Tyrus Thomas. Hedo would probably be our starting PF. Don't know if you'd take that, but it's the most talent we can offer back, and even though both those guys have long contracts, you're out from under Hedo sooner. If you want shorter contracts, then we'd give you Nazr Mohammed and Alexis Ajinca with Diop, instead. Hedo's deal is so many years out, this is the sort of thing I think you'd be able to get for him.
From ClipsNation (LA Clippers):
Hedo is interesting from the Clippers perspective for a couple of reasons. LA has it's own overpaid and disappointing free agent in Baron, and also the Clippers have been looking for a versatile three for a long time. But while overpaid, Baron is still a very effective point guard, and trading him for Turk would save some money, but it would create a bigger hole at the one than the one they have at the three. There are those in Clips Nation who would happily trade Chris Kaman for Hedo straight up (and I'll admit that Kaman can be frustrating), but there's no way that the Clippers front office would be among them.
Perhaps the most appealing trade proposed came from Pounding the Rock (San Antonio Spurs):
I’d have a hard time believing the Spurs wouldn’t be interested if they could get rid of Jefferson in the deal. Just straight up, it would save the Spurs $12M next year (6 in salary, 6 in luxury tax). The questions are 1) whether or not the Spurs front office thinks he would fit. 2) whether they would want a sweetener to absorb the other 3 years of Hedo’s contract. And since I’m a HUGE fan of DeRozan I’ll just go ahead and say he would be a sufficient sweetener.
For me, the basics of a Hedo for Jefferson deal seem like they would work for both teams.
From my perspective if a Turk-Jefferson deal was available the Raptors should have done the deal yesterday.
On top of these responses there were a handful of no's - including At the Hive (New Orleans Hornets) which was disappointing given the recent FanPost that suggested a form of Hedo Turkoglu for Emeka Okafor deal. Frankly you would be hard pressed to find a better centre for Bargnani than Emeka Okafor even with his rather large contract. Unfortunately I can't see why the Hornets would want to add another overpaid SF to the stable while they continue to play James Posey and Julien Wright.
It's amazing just how quickly Hedo Turkoglu's value has dropped. Just last off-season he was the "big name" and now he has become a "big burden".
Nevertheless this is the situation that Colangelo finds himself in. If teams are even willing to consider Hedo it will be difficult to get anything of value in return. That doesn't change the fact that a deal has to be done. The team can spin the Turk situation however it wants but Raptors fans have very long memories and won't soon forgive last years debacle.
There are more than 1400 days left until Hedo's contract expires. For the Toronto Raptors sake they better be able to move him and his contract well before that.
Of course there is another opinionout there. There are two sides to every argument but I am hard pressed to believe that keeping Hedo around is good for the long term health of the franchise - it's time to blow it up. Besides, if Colangelo walks at the end of next season isn't the GM position for this team more appealing with a roster that doesn't have Hedo Turkoglu (and that features a bunch of young players growing together) than one that does? I'd think so.