Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks

Orlando Magic waive Hedo Turkoglu


UPDATE 6:09 pm: And it’s official, the Orlando Magic have waived Hedo Turkoglu.

No team is going to claim him off waivers and pick up the $6 million he is owed. It is possible he gets a minimum deal, more likely he gets a 10 day contract soon.

4:04 pm: So much for trying to find a trade partner.

Hedo Turkoglu has basically the same contract as Andrew Bynum — he was due $12 million this season but if he is waived by Jan. 7 he was only owed $6 million of that. As Cleveland had done with Bynum, Orlando kept Turkoglu around as a potential trade chip.

They have thrown in the towel on that reports John Denton at the Orlando Magic’s official Web site.

Turkoglu likely could get a healthy contract for a powerhouse team back in his native Turkey, but that’s not the plan according to those on the ground in Turkey.

Turkoglu was a valuable stretch four, one who could handle the ball (him on the pick-and-roll was key to Orlando’s 2009 NBA Finals run). However, in recent years his shot hasn’t fallen and his entire game has shown age — he hasn’t played in a year and shot just 29 percent in the handful of games he got in.

It is possible a team gives him a 10-day contract when those open up. That said I wouldn’t expect him to be a meaningful part of any NBA team right now.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.