Hedo Turkoglu will not be a member of the Orlando Magic next season. Bet on it.
He likely isn’t in the NBA. He has an offer waiting back in Turkey that will be better than any offer he is getting in this country, smart money says that is where he ends up.
But before we bid him adieu (and reminisce about he was key to the Magic’s 2009 Finals run), there is the little detail of buying out the last year of his NBA contract.
The Magic and Turkoglu’s reps have been talking buyout since early July, and the talks are still going on now, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Turkoglu has a $12 million contract for the upcoming season but only $6 million of it is guaranteed. The Magic want to get this done before camp starts so Romero Osby, their second round pick, can come to camp and get a shot at making the roster.
Why are the Turkoglu/Magic negotiations dragging out for two months? Because the Magic would love to save some money and pay less than the full $6 million. And if I were Turkoglu’s agent I would laugh at and reject every offer short of $6 million — that is what his contract calls for. You can say it was a bad contract, that doesn’t matter; it’s what both sides agreed to back at the time.
Eventually the Magic will pay the full amount (it’s still better than having him on the roster at $12 million, unless you think he can be a trade piece… which is unlikely, and are you willing to pay $6 million to see if you might be able to move him?).
The Magic just need to follow the immortal words of Teddy KGB: Pay that man his money.
For now the talks drag out. Expect that to get resolved before training camp starts and for Hedo to head to Istanbul to play for Fenerbahce Ulker and Osby will get his shot.