Hedo Turkoglu remains on the Orlando Magic’s roster for now but his days playing for the team are over. Although team officials and Turkoglu’s camp have not reached a buyout deal both sides have agreed that Turkoglu will not join the team when it convenes for the start of training camp Tuesday or at any time after that. “Our organization has a great deal of respect for Hedo and the contributions he’s made to the team over the years” Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel. “We’ve made an organizational decision to move in a different direction. During the pendency of our buyout negotiations we’ve mutually agreed to have Hedo remain with his family while we work toward an agreement.” Turkoglu's agent didn't immediately return a phone call for comment. Turkoglu will turn 35 years old in March and he doesn’t fit into the Magic’s long-term plans. Franchise officials would rather allocate playing time on the wing to younger players such as Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris. The 2013-14 season is the final year of Turkoglu’s contract and only $6 million of his $12 million in remaining salary is guaranteed. The full $12 million amount won’t become fully vested until Jan. 10 which is the day when any remaining nonguaranteed contracts throughout the league become fully guaranteed. So why haven’t the Magic just waived Turkoglu already? On one hand team officials want to negotiate a buyout for under $6 million. But — and perhaps more importantly to them — the Magic seem to regard Turkoglu's contract as an asset and want to hold onto the contract until they’re convinced they’ve exhausted all options for a potential trade. A 6-foot-10 forward with uncommon ball-handling skills for a player his height Turkoglu has spent eight of his 13 NBA seasons with the Magic and he remains one of the most popular and widely recognized players in franchise history. He was the starting small forward on the 2008-09 Magic squad that reached the NBA Finals. That season he played his best in the playoffs averaging 15.8 points 4.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in the postseason as the Magic won separate series over the Philadelphia 76ers Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers before they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers. Turkoglu became a free agent a couple of weeks after the defeat in The Finals and team officials decided not to meet his asking price.
Hedo Turkoglu's Orlando Magic playing days are over
Orlando Sentinel | Sep 27