Hedo Turkoglu is back in the NBA.
The Clippers made official Wednesday morning what had been long rumored, they signed Turkoglu for the rest of the season to help bolster their front line. He will be with them on the coming seven-game road trip that starts in New York Friday.
He impressed Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers in workouts — and he must have because this is a guy the Orlando Magic largely kept away from their developing young players last season, a guy who has battled injures and had to serve a steroid suspension, a guy who shot 2-of-33 outside 10 feet last season. Clipper fans need to hope he’s regained his form.
“He’s another shooter,” Rivers said Wednesday before his Clippers beat Dallas. “Sometimes you don’t bring a guy in because someone’s not doing something, you bring a guy in because he does something that our other guys do as well. He’s another shooter. He can space the floor. He’s very skilled and we would like to take advantage of that.”
Every team could use more shooting, and if Turkoglu, 34, can return to his 2011 form he would have some value in the Clippers rotation. The team chose not to give him a 10-day contract to see if he could provide that kind of value, instead locking him in for the season.
The Clippers are just a little less than $2 million above the NBA’s luxury tax line before this signing. The general consensus around the league, and the smart move by the Clippers, would be to shed a few million and get under that line so that they don’t add a year to the repeater tax issues. This signing just means they need to shed another million, if that is the goal at all.