Thursday, July 1, 2010
Hedo Turkoglu and Raptors making amends
By Henry Abbott
Not too long ago, Hedo Turkoglu went on NTV SPOR in Turkey to say that he did not want to return to the Raptors.
As free agency shakes out, the Raptors' need for a small forward to replace the disgruntled Turkoglu -- who would presumably be heading somewhere -- was part of the reason some felt Toronto might consider taking on Luol Deng's big contract in a sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh. Such a move would make the Bulls exceptionally attractive for players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
However, Turkoglu's back on the same TV channel on Thursday, only this time after spending some time listening to the soothing tones of newish Raptors' assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo, who is now in Turkey telling Turkoglu how much better things could be.
Here, translated into English, is some of what Turkoglu had to say:
- "As a basketball player, my only goal is to perform at the highest level again. I want to play in a system that fits me. I’m happy that Carlesimo is here, he’s a good friend of mine since my Spurs days."
- "Everybody makes mistakes, that’s a fact. Both parties [Hedo and Raptors management] think that it’s time to correct them. Toronto wants me back and to take the leading role. I’m happy that Carlesimo is here, and we will all see what summer brings. I don’t have any problems with the city of Toronto or the Raptors. I want to be able to perform at the highest level."
- "I don’t know about the free agency frenzy. I haven’t talked to Bosh. He’s one of the greatest power forwards in NBA right now. And he’s very clever, too. Bosh will decide what’s best for him."
- "For LeBron James and others, I don’t have any information about guys’ choices. But if I have to make a guess, I think LeBron will choose the Clippers."