Pop that collar Hedo Turkoglu. You are about to be 50 million richer and your new paycheck just might have Paul Allen's signature on it. According to multiple sources—here and here—the Blazers are making a "strong push" for a man nicknamed The Michael Jordan of Turkey. (Ironically, I've been called "The Engin Atsür of America" before, but I think that's an insult.)
Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby, told the Oregonian that the Blazers were the first team to call. "They were enthusiastic and well received by us," Babby said. "We are engaged in the process. We will see where it takes us in the next couple of days and take it from there."
Lon Babby? More like Lon Blabby? Am I right? Huh?
Anyway, that means that the Blazers waited mere minutes—the free agency kickoff was last night at 9pm (PST), right after Law & Order—before fumbling for the checkbook and Hedo's digits. But, wait, isn't Turkoglu a decent player who just had an amazing postseason? Yes, same guy. So the idea of padding the bank account of a streaky player on the wrong end of 30 seems pretty risky. While Turkoglu is best known as a clutch shooter, his 41% from the field last season would rank behind almost every single Portland player. But it is a higher percentage than what Michael Ruffin shot, so that is probably worth 50 million. Hmm, maybe 49 million?
Cross your fingers that this is some sort of bluff by Kevin Pritchard—or one by Turkoglu's camp in order to drive up his already inflated value—but we won't find out until few days (July 8th), when the free agent signing period officially begins.
9:35 am Update from ESPN's Marc Stein:
"Hedo Turkoglu having dinner with Nate McMillan tonight. Hedo's then touring Portland on Thursday."
OMG, where are they going to have dinner? Is he going to think the weather is always like this? Dude, it totally rains here all the time. Please stay in Orlando.