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Tag:Hedo Turkoglu
Posted on: December 18, 2010 12:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Suns join Wizards, Magic in Arenas trade talks

The Phoenix Suns are the latest team to join trade rumors involving the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards on a possible Gilbert Arenas deal.gilbert-arenas Posted by Ben Golliver

We've been carefully tracking the Gilbert Arenas trade rumors for months. On Friday, whispers that began back in October and got warm in December intensified, when it was reported that the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards were zeroing in on a deal for the former Agent Zero. As the night progressed, Magic big man Marcin Gortat, Magic wing Vince Carter and forward Rashard Lewis both found their names in various rumors, although the final framework of the deal that would reunite Arenas with a mentor, Magic GM Otis Smith, hasn't yet emerged, although reports continue that a deal is close. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that a third team could wind up crashing the Washington / Orlando party.
League sources say a third team is involved, with the Suns possibly contributing Hedo Turkoglu to the equation. The Magic, trying to make a bold move to close the gap with Boston and Miami, would wind up with Arenas and Turkoglu, who would return to the team he led to the NBA Finals before a frustrating year in Toronto. Magic center Marcin Gortat is "100 percent involved," though it's unclear whether the Magic would be sending out Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, or both. 
One of the guarantees coming into this season is that Phoenix, run by cost-conscious, impulsive owner Robert Sarver, would be active prior to the trade deadline if they didn't start hot. By handing out relatively big contracts to the likes of Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick, trading for the massively-overpaid Turkoglu, and re-signing Jared Dudley, the Suns simply had way, way too much money committed at the same position, making adequate roster and positional balance virtually impossible. The Suns have started 12-13, which is good enough for second place in the terrible Pacific Division, but puts them on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in. Until more details emerge, it's unclear what Phoenix's role will be, whether it's as a facilitator to make salaries work or as a legitimate partner.  Meanwhile, Berger also reports that landing Arenas in Orlando may not be as easy as first thought.
But according to a person familiar with the situation, Smith faces two significant obstacles in bringing Arenas to Orlando. The first is Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who has told friends he is extremely reluctant to add Arenas to the roster. The second, and even more important impediment, is Orlando ownership, which has serious reservations about absorbing Arenas' contract. Arenas has one more year left than Lewis and two more than Carter -- essentially three more with Carter's partial guarantee in 2013-14. Turkoglu's contract could ease some of that pain, as the Turkish star agreed to accept a reduced guarantee in '13-'14 as part of his trade from Toronto to Phoenix. 
In Arenas, Turkoglu and Lewis, you're looking at three of the worst contracts in the entire league, so there's no question it will take some internal selling from management on all sides of this trade to convince their own owners that the grass is greener on the other side.  But that doesn't necessarily mean this will fall apart, as all three teams are very motivated sellers.  Washington needs to turn the keys over to John Wall and start a new chapter. That's a no-brainer, and has been clear since the Wizards drafted Wall with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Orlando needs an aggressive scoring spark on the wing to avoid taking a half-step back this season. Saturday morning, the Orlando Sentinel quotes Smith as saying trade talks with the Wizards are at an "8" on a 1-10 level of seriousness. The Associated Press reports that Smith confirmed that talks are ongoing but also said that "nothing is imminent" with regard to an Arenas trade.  The Sentinel also notes that Magic brass "would much rather have" Denver Nuggets all star forward Carmelo Anthony or New Orleans Hornets all star point guard Chris Paul, but Anthony appears headed elsewhere and Paul hasn't seen his name in serious trade rumors since the season started. Phoenix, as explained above, could use better roster balance, as coach Alvin Gentry has struggled with setting his bench rotation all season, in part because of so many relatively similar pieces on the wing. Given Smith's comment about the seriousness of these talks, surely there will be more developments as the weekend continues.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:18 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Lakers mad about late Lamar Odom technical foul

Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom was whistled for a controversial technical foul late in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Ben Golliver Earlier we noted that the Phoenix Suns scored an improbable victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Sunday, thanks to 22 (!) 3-pointers. Despite Phoenix's ridiculous outside shooting, Los Angeles still had a shot. With just under a minute left in the game, Lakers forward Lamar Odom, cut to the hoop and finished at the rim, finishing over Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu, who appeared to check him with both arms. Odom's basket cut the Phoenix lead to 111-109, but he protested the lack of a foul call by pumping his arm twice and yelling, which drew a technical foul. Here's video of the play courtesy of YouTube user TheRealCaCHookahMan. Suns guard Steve Nash converted the free throw to push the lead back to three points, and Phoenix held on to win 121-116. The Los Angeles Times reports that Lakers all star guard Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson were both steamed at the technical on Odom, which they believed was whistled as part of the NBA's new crackdown on excessive reactions.
"It's a bad, bad rule," Kobe Bryant said. "It's a bad one. It's subject to so much interpretation. I've been toeing the line here, so I don't want to [get fined]. It's something you have to be conscious of as a player, which kind of throws you off your game a little bit because basketball's such an emotional sport."
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the technical foul "changed the context of the ballgame." "He got fouled," Jackson said, repeating it for emphasis. "It's a normal reaction. There's no doubt that we don't want guys complaining about plays up and down the court, but when someone's at the rim and gets fouled, and says, 'and one' or whatever, to stop a game or change a game around at a critical point in the game like that, it's just not the way that we want to be able to play."
By the letter of the new NBA technical foul law, Odom was properly assessed the foul. But given the game-changing circumstances, this was a tough one for Lakers fans to swallow.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Suns may bench Hedo Turkoglu on certain nights

Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry is reportedly considering moving forward Hedo Turkoglu to the bench on some nights. Posted by Ben Golliverhedo-turkoglu The Phoenix Suns are off to an uneven 3-4 start to the season, and while a step backward was all but assured after Amar'e Stoudemire headed east to sign with the New York Knicks, the Suns already find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in thanks to promising starts to 2010 lottery teams like the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets.  So it comes as no surprise that Suns coach Alvin Gentry would begin to tinker with line-ups, and word comes from the Arizona Republic that one such adjustment could find expensive trade acquisition Hedo Turkoglu moved to the reserve unit against bigger front lines.
Gentry said he is considering bring Turkoglu off the bench to keep him from mismatches against bigger post players, following his depature from Monday's game after 2:23 due to fouls he picked up against Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol.
"I will not play Hedo against a guy like Zack Randolph," Gentry said. "It's unfair to him.
"I'd rather have him in the game five minutes later where he has no fouls than to take him out in the first five minutes." Turkoglu has said he would be open to coming off the bench.
The move is sound, given that Turkoglu hasn't been lighting the world on fire so far, averaging just 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds through seven games. But the problem is much bigger that Turkoglu alone. The Suns are in this lineup-juggling predicament because of an imbalanced roster, one that is absolutely loaded (over-loaded, really) on the wings and thin in the post.  The biggest question for Phoenix: When is it time to pull the plug on some of these redundant pieces? Does a single team really need Josh Childress, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Channing Frye and Earl Clark? I get that perimeter big men is the thing down in the desert, but that's excessive by any standard, especially when all those floor-spacers leave Phoenix as the fourth-worst rebounding team in the league and the absolute worst defense in the league. Sitting Turkoglu, an ineffective rebounder and pathetic defender, is a step in the right direction. But a more dramatic move is needed by the trade deadline if this team hopes to make the postseason. Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 10:44 am
 

Nash concedes PHX may be rebuilding, but why?

Posted by Royce Young

Nobody is more of a softspoken statesman whose words carry big sound than Steve Nash. He knows how to say just what he wants in order to get what he wants. And in an interview with SB Nation Arizona, Nash surprisingly conceded that the Suns may be ready to take a step back and rebuild. Or if he had money on this season, not to take the Suns.
"To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys."

"Maybe we need to take a step back, regroup, be a little bit more patient, build a really good team and see how good we can be later in the year instead of jumping out of the gate and be like, 'Oh, we've got to finish top two or three in the West and give ourselves a chance to win the West and go to the Finals.' That stuff can come if we really improve, but we can't put that type of pressure on ourselves right away because we are a new team."
Translation: We might not be that good. So please Suns fans, hang in there with us.

What's refreshing is that Nash understands this. He knows Hakim Warrick isn't Amar'e Stoudemire. He knows that Grant Hill aged another year. He knows that Hedo Turkoglu isn't the answer to anything but "Ball? Ball." He knows that though improved, Robin Lopez isn't any kind of franchise big man. Nash knows this. And he's not pretending to be leading a world-beating squad.

I don't know if there's any kind of subtle plan behind Nash's comments, or if he was just being honest about his team. Some players like Rodney Stuckey and Michael Beasley say things like, "On paper, we're the best evah!" and "Really, if you think super hard about it, we're probably the best team." Nash on the other hand says, "I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs." That's something new.

It is possible however that Nash has a plan with these types of comments. He is 36 years old and isn't getting any younger, despite what you hear about the Magic of the Suns training staff. Maybe he's worried about ending his career on a sour note. Maybe he's prodding management to go grab him some help. Or maybe he's just setting the fanbase up to lower their expectations.

It's easy to think that surely there's a motive here because in today's atmosphere of professional sports, who tells a fanbase their team might not be great? I don't deny that Nash set up fans for a lottery team for a reason. He did make a power play to get Shaq out of town and according to some, helped nudge Terry Porter out the door earlier than expected.

Most have been forecasting the Suns the set (GET IT?!) for a while now. Last season looked prime for it to happen, especially with the rumors of Stoudemire being dealt swirling all season. But they hung on to Stoudemire and made a surprising push into the third seed in the West and a conference finals run.

Now though, it looks like it might be time for Phoenix to fade. And their fearless leader knows it.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.18.10: Turkaboooooo

Posted by Royce Young
  • Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: "A fan held up a sign that summed up the purpose of an otherwise uneventful preseason walk-around: 'TURKABOO,' was the message. The rabble wasn’t exactly in midseason form, even if the Raptors pulled off a 121-100 win. ('(The booing) wasn’t as bad as Vancouver,' said Steve Nash, Turkoglu’s newly-minted teammate, speaking of the reaction of the West Coast throng that took in a Raptors-Suns exhibition 11 days previous). But Turkoglu reacted exactly as you might have expected. He openly laughed. He actually applauded the crowd during the player introductions. He even led the chorus at one point, checking in at the scorer’s table while expelling a long, 'Booooooooo!' In other words, he acted as though he didn’t care -- which is exactly how he played."
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: "The rejuvenation of Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has been apparent since the beginning of training camp. He leaps with ease. He sprints down the floor and soars for rebounds with no fear about his surgically repaired right knee. ... One of the more important priorities for the Celtics in camp was to rebuild the confidence and increase the production of Garnett, who was healthy last season but still was favoring the knee.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward ranks the pick-and-roll combos: "2. Baron Davis-Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: This could be terrifying, and it really depends on how hard Baron Davis feels like working this season and if he can kick the habit of taking awful three-pointers off the bounce. Griffin could emerge as something like Stoudemire as a violent roll threat. Even in the preseason, he’s slipping screens and darting down the lane like Amar’e, and he has the athleticism and strength to finish with authority. He is going to have a highlight screen-and-roll finish every night, and he looks to have a good enough jumper to get your attention on the pick-and-pop."
  • Do the Hornets have more talent than the Bucks? And can they repeat what Milwaukee did last season? Michael McNamara of Hornets247 says so: "So across the board the Hornets have more talent than those Milwaukee Bucks and yet the perception around the country is that it is doubtful the Hornets will produce superior results. Why is that? It has to be because there has been no evidence to support the belief that the Hornets can play with that level of discipline, that level of heart, and that level of tenacity. It is because nobody knows what to expect from Monty Williams and his system. It is because people assume that at the end of the day it is talent and talent alone that wins basketball games."
Posted on: September 27, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 2:37 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Phoenix Suns

Posted by Matt Moore

It's a season of change, and the Suns are dealing with some pretty big ones. They lost a huge part of their bench mob in Louis Amundson. They lost a pivotal speed player who's been there for years in Leandro Barbosa. And oh, yeah, they lost some Amar'e guy. So there's a lot for them to process as camp starts with new additions. Here's what's going on as the Suns try and adjust to Year 1, Post-STAT.


Training camp site:   San Diego, CA

Training camp starts:   Sept. 28 

Key additions: Josh Childress (free agency), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency), Gani Lawal (draft)

Key subtractions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Amar'e Stoudemire (free agency)

Likely starting lineup: Steve Nash (PG), Jason Richardson (SG), Hedo Turkoglu (SF), Hakim Warrick (PF), Robin Lopez

Player to watch:   Hakim Warrick. Warrick has never really impressed anyone with his play. He's been good, he can dunk, but he's never blown anyone away. He's also never had Steve Nash working with him in the pick and roll. That's a huge step. He needs to work on his defense and finishing like Amar'e did with his athleticism if he wants to get a starting spot, because Turkoglu will likely get a lot of time there, as weird as that is. Warrick also needs to work on his mid-range game to be more of a threat all over the floor.

Chemistry check: This team likes one another, but there are a lot of new faces in the locker room, and some come with egos. With the loss of Louis Amundson and several players looking for extensions, you have to wonder if distractions will be a problem from the get-go.

Camp battles: The entire frontcourt. Robin Lopez probably has the biggest lock on the starting gig at center, but Channing Frye may push him as he did last year. Josh Childress, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Jared Dudley, and Earl Clark will battle it out for the 3 and 4 slots (with Childress likely to spend a lot of time at backup shooting guard). They've got a lot of weapons, a lot of versatilty, and no clear-cut leaders at those positions. Should be a fun competition.

Biggest strength: They're still the Suns. Even with the Amar'e bullet out of the chamber, they've got athletic guys who can run, shoot, and score. They work hard and are lead by one of the best point guards in NBA history. The formula has proven to work. The pieces aren't huge downgrades outside of the loss of Stoudemire, and they're used to overcoming adversity. They'll also still be entertaining as all get-out.

Glaring weakness: Super-punch. They lack a superstar outside of Nash. That's going to be hard to compete with in the Western Conference. Someone has to make a huge step if they want to make the playoffs again.


Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:51 am
 

Preseason Primer: Toronto Raptors

Posted by Matt Moore

There's little but ruins left in Toronto with Chris Bosh gone. Bryan Colangelo managed to keep his job, as did Jay Triano, and the cast of characters remains largely the same. The goals have shifted, with the future now being the primary consideration as Colangelo has started shedding salary (including Hedo Turkoglu) and locking up younger talent. Training camp could be nice and relaxed. It could be a mess. There's no way to tell. But we'll try and get a feel for where things stand in our next edition of our Preseason Primers .

Training camp site: Toronto, Canada />
Training camp starts: September 28th

Key additions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Linas Kleiza (free agency), Julian Wright (trade)

Key subtractions: Chris Bosh (Pat Riley), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Antoine Wright (free agency)

Likely starting lineup: Jarret Jack (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Linas Kleiza (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), Andrea Bargnani (C)

Player to watch: DeMar DeRozan. Andrea Bargnani will be under the most pressure, but DeRozan has the highest ceiling to improve. DeRozan flashed great athleticism last season and showed off an improved finesse game at summer league. He'll need to capitalize on his entire game in camp if he wants to set the tone of himself as the future for the franchise and give them something to build on.


Chemistry quiz: This team did not seem to like each other last season. Whether that was the pressure of the Bosh scenario, we don't know, but they're going to need to click more this year. Particularly, the team doesn't communicate on defense. At all. It's like radio silence. The jury is not just out on Jay Triano, it's in a pretty fierce debate at the moment. Nothing has been introduced to show that Triano gets through to this team in any capacity.


Camp battles: Jarret Jack and Jose Calderon may get in a knife fight. Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson probably will get into a knife fight.

Injury issues:
Ed Davis is out after a meniscus injury. Calderon had some bumps and bruises, but in general, the team is young and healthy. Barbosa is trying to come back from not just injury but personal issues last year.

Biggest strength: Bucket-getting. The team can score, that's for sure. Bargnani can hit from anywhere on the foor, with touch and range. Amir Johnson can crash the boards on the offensive glass. Calderon still has a jumper in him. Barbosa is still fast. They can run and they can score and that's pretty much the extent of what they can do.

Glaring weakness: They couldn't stop a corpse with a flamethrower. Their defense is pretty much like the Death Star. Sure there are tall structures, but in reality, you can just fly in, do your business, and get out.
Posted on: September 12, 2010 5:14 pm
 

Behind Durant's 28, the USA wins gold over Turkey

Posted by Royce Young

After dropping in his seventh 3-pointer early in the third quarter, Team USA's star backpedaled down the court shaking his hand with three fingers out. It wasn't the Jordan shrug, but Kevin Durant knew he had something going. And he knew his team was closing in on a big moment.

With two daggers right out of the locker room after a massive first half, Durant brok the backs of his opponent early, and he did it swiftly and efficiently. And for the tournament's MVP, anything less would've been a surprise.

In a game in front of one of the most hostile, vocal and rabid atmospheres you'll find anyway, Durant dropped a game-high 28 points on 10-17 shooting (7-13 from 3), leading the United States to its first World Championship gold medal in 16 years with a 81-64 win over host nation Turkey.

And the U.S. had to have Durant to lean on once again. Team USA held a lead from nearly the outset, but it was on the shoulders of the man called Durantula. Consider: In the first half, the U.S. went 6-22 from 3. Durant went 5-9 by himself. So if you do a little math there, that means the rest of Team USA sans Durant went just 1-13 from deep in the first 20 minutes. The team had 42 points and Durant had 20 of them.

Out of the locker room, Durant picked right up where he left off, popping two deep ones to extend out an 18-point lead for the States. But from there, his teammates started to step up. Lamar Odom had 15 points - all in the second half - and 11 rebounds. Derrick Rose finally found his offense scoring eight second half points. Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook added 13 huge points. And that's not including the stellar defense from players like Andre Iguodala and Eric Gordon. It may have been the Durantula Show early on, but the tension relaxed a bit because the rest of the red, white and blue picked things up.

Turkey had no match for Durant on either end. Hedo Turkoglu led the Turks with 16, but after that, no one scored in double-figures. And because of the athletic mismatches the U.S. presented for Turkey, the host nation had to go to a matchup zone for the majority of the game, something Team USA ate up. Well, something that Kevin Durant ate up.

Turkey, known as the "12 Giant Men" to their countrymen, played hard for the entire 40 minutes. They just didn't have the horses. The Turks desperately needed someone to step up huge, but players like Ersan Ilyasova and Omer Asik were held down by a swarming, intense U.S. man-to-man defense.

An underrated aspect of this victory is that the U.S. doesn't have to qualify for the 2012 Olympics during a time where NBA players might not be available because of a lockout. But I can promise you the States' own "12 Giant Men" don't give a darn about that. This is about that thing hanging around their necks. This is about the pride of doing something for your country that others before haven't been able to accomplish in 16 years.

Now this group of 12 will get on a plane and make a long trip home back to the States. Training camp starts in two weeks and by that time, the high from this tournament will have started to wear off. Players will return to their teams and return to their old roles. They'll go back to be the stars and main men for their NBA squad. They'll go back to playing for a city, a fan base or a contract, not their flag. Things will go back to normal, but these last 25 days in Turkey won't be something easily forgotten.

Some may try and kill the buzz by pointing out a the tournament's talent was watered down, that the U.S. is always a favorite and we didn't get anything unexpected or that Turkey wasn't a worthy opponent to play for gold. But it's been 16 years since the United States has heard the Star Spangled Banner at the World Championships. This is something special. And something that these players will always remember being a part of.
 
 
 
 
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