Saturday July 4 2009 – 3:45am Eastern (Toronto, ON)

Let’s assume Toronto has indeed signed Hedo Turkoglu to a 5-year deal.

Now …

Does anybody really think that Bryan Colangelo is done with the Raptors’ roster?

Come on.  Get real folks.

If you don’t like Turkoglu as a player – that’s one thing.  I’d disagree with you and think you’re a bit crazy, but you’re entitled to your opinion!

But if you don’t like Turkoglu because he restricts what the Raps may or may not be able to do with the rest of their roster (because they now have little-to-no money to spend) … I’ll just say …


Let’s assume – just for fun – that Toronto’s starting five looks like this for 2009-10:

Chris Bosh
Andrea Bargnani
DeMar DeRozan *
Jose Calderon

* I’m not sure that I’d start the rook, but let’s wait to see him in Summer League, Training Camp, and Pre-Season before we judge the kid good, bad, or otherwise.

So, again, let’s just ASSUME that’s your starting five.

That’s pretty damn good.

However, your bench is quite thin.

And that’s why I say – Do you really think Bryan Colangelo is done?

Do you really think Jay Triano will begin the 2009-10 season with a bench that consists of Reggie Evans, Roko Ukic, and Kris Humphris … along with Patrick O’Bryant, Quincy Douby, Nathan Jawai, and Marcus Banks (and, maybe, Pops Mensah-Bonsu)?

There’s no way.

It’s only July 4.  Free agency just opened-up in the NBA 3 days ago, and things aren’t “official” until next week.  Plus, we’ve got 3 months until Training Camps open.  There’s plenty of times for trades, sign-and-trades, signings, releases … whatever!

So take a step back folks.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Toronto may have just landed one of the biggest fish on the free agent market this summer.  Enjoy it.  And worry about the rest of the roster another day … ’cause I’ll all-but guarantee you — on my gut alone — that Colangelo is not done tweaking this roster.

Just chill.

E. Smith

44 Responses to “Turkoglu & the Trickle-Down”
  1. 1.

    eric, can they sign kleiza (if hedo is a rap) or trade one of bigs for outlaw?

    - nickq
  2. 2.

    its not that I dont link Hedo, its just i like Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker and Carlos Delfino better.

    - TomGfromBrampton
  3. 3.

    Amen, brother. Amen.

    - Big Jim Staple
  4. 4.

    I’m intersted that you immediately think the reaction to this trade will be negative in TO. Is this formed after a call in show that I missed.

    Other than those who will complain just because it’s another European on the Raps, I LOVE this deal.

    I just don’t see knowledgable fans complaining about spending this kind of $$$ when we know what he can do. And his 16 pts/r rebound average will go up in TO when you aren’t expected to let Superman grab everything in sight off the rim.

    If the price is not bringing back Anthony Parker and Delfino, so be it; been there done that.

    What I thought would be a disappointing off season with everyone bulking up considerably but the Raps has turned into further optimism.
    Bravo BC.

    With Reggie Evans, Ukic a year smarter, a healthy Kris Humphris and Patrick O’Bryant’s potential, I actually like the bench better than last year and lets see ehat else Colangelo has up his sleeve.

    - Gary
  5. 5.

    I pray you are right … I was really looking forward to having delfino and marion in the mix. was this signing because he knew something we didn’t, like he could not sign shawn? why would he do the signing and give up the possibility of he mid level, that makes no sense? you can’t honestly believe we are better served with turk rather tan these two guns do you?

    - brent atkinson
  6. 6.

    Colangelo has made 3 nice moves:
    Trading for Evans, nice #9 draft pick , and now , a major coup-beating out Portland for Turkoglu .

    This could make Raptors more attractive to other free agents also .

    - Chas
  7. 7.

    At least the is leading with this story. TSN Spports Centre had 5 mnutes of the Roughrider/BC CFL game leading off, followed by Ryan Smith being traded from Colorado to the LA Kings.

    THEN we get Hedo to the Raps.

    Maybe when he officially signs here and he shows up in Toronto, the story will get the respect it deserves???

    Who knew we had a significant Turkish population to draw him here – well, compared to Portland…Toronto’s “Cosmopolitan makeup” strikes again

    - Gary
  8. 8.

    Eric, you have just reaffirmed your status as the premier basketball mind in the city covering the Raptors. Everywhere I look, all over the Internet, people are up in arms about how thin Colangelo has now left the roster. Bruce Arthur even goes so far as to question whether Kris Humphries will play the backup shooting guard next season. Anyone thinking that way has clearly not been following Colangelo over the course of his career. There are more deals and signings to be done and I’d be willing to bet that when the season starts the team will be at least 8 quality players deep. This was a monumental coup for this regime and should pave the way for Raptors ascendancy back to relevance.

    - Bane
  9. 9.

    That’s a good point, Eric. But here’s a question for you:

    By signing Hedo, didn’t we effectively lose the financial flexibility to engage in sign-and-trades, or direct free-agent signings? By renouncing the rights to those players (Parker, etc.), those players don’t really count as ‘assets’ for our roster and thus, can’t be traded.

    Am I right or wrong on this? I don’t really know how the NBA’s CBA works where this is concerned.



    - Richard
  10. 10.

    I’m too lazy to bother – but, if you go back a bunch of posts…to some point in the playoffs when Hedo was showing just how much of a winning player he is…

    You’ll see that I said he was the EXACT type of player the Raps sorely lacked.

    Go ahead…waste some time finding it…I promise it’s there.

    I believe I said he was a total winner, a player who absolutely wanted the ball in the final seconds of a game. That he LOVED playing the game.

    Oh…now I remember when it was! It was right after he hit that crazy three, and then LeBron hit his own ridiculous three to win the game.


    It was a look I hadn’t seen on the face of a Raptors player in ages. Probably since Vince was hitting game winning shots against the Sixers many years ago.

    I can’t promise what Hedo will do as a Raptor, but I am thrilled he will show that spirit while on the ACC floor. It’s that type of attitude the Raptors have had so little of for so, so long.

    Congrats on the signing, BC.

    (and that’s not something I can say so easily!!)

    - brento
  11. 11.

    Eric, if the choices are between a player like Marion (who is an above average defender) and Turkoglu, then yes I don’t like Turkoglu. Any good team has at least 2 above average defenders in the starting lineup. The new starting lineup may be great offensively but it does not have even 1 above average defender in the starting lineup and rebounding remains an issue since Marion was a far superior rebounder to than Turkoglu. So in summary, the offense is better, the rebounding and defense are worse. Overall, how exactly is this a better team then with Marion who addressed some of the team’s defensive and rebounding issues?

    - Bball
  12. 12.

    Good words of wisdom E. These GM’s from the peanut gallery are going crazy for no reason. CHILL. At least we were able to land a big ticket free agent, that can play multiple positions , AND CREATE HIS OWN SHOT, which pretty much no one on the roster (or the free agents we renounce) could have done.

    - RapsFan
  13. 13.

    Rather than telling us to chill can you give us an example of how he can do this?

    Some hypothetical examples would be nice.

    B/C a lot of ppl on THE INTERNETS are assuming that MLSE won’t pay the tax and that to sign Hedo we’re locked in a corner salary wise.

    Of course we can trade our bench guys for similar salary players, but come on.

    Please give examples of how we take on more salary in sign and trades without paying the tax or trading Bosh.

    - Mike
  14. 14.

    I’ll chill if you’ll promise to get someone to edit your articles before publishing them.

    - Sean Dent
  15. 15.


    The thing that made Marion so effective in this lineup was his outstanding ability to rebound the ball next to Andrea Bargnani. While the more dynamic offensive player (though he’s still a high volume low efficiency shooter), Turkoglu’s historic lack of rebounding is going to cause problems in this lineup.

    So, how is it crazy to think an average rebounding, high volume low efficiency shooter is going to be a good fit next to Andrea Bargnani?
    Does Chris Bosh have to average 15 boards a game just to compete, or is it back to the basement for the Raptors in terms of team rebounding ranking after they started showing so much promise with Marion at the 3?

    - James
  16. 16.

    From Turkey a 6’10 forward Hedo Turkoglu!!!!!!!

    Orlando took Carter we take Turkoglu!!!!!!!

    - Raps Fan
  17. 17.

    Hello Eric!

    I read this morning by 1 am that Hedo is headong for Toronto Raptors. well, for me it’s a great news. Do you think Eric there’s still a chance for Delfino or Parker to come back? Does Hedo means chances for the others are renounced? Thanks!

    - josephine
  18. 18.

    Hey eric,

    Are there any free agents set to make around 4-6 million that would be good additions to the raptors bench?

    - John terry
  19. 19.


    I’m totally stumped by the Shawn Marion love-in on this, and other, blogs.

    I just don’t see what everyone is talking about.

    To begin with, he didn’t improve the Raps at all. Outside of a near meaningless 6 game win streak, the Raptors were no better with him than without him.

    Second, the guy just seems lazy. He does a bit of everything, but doesn’t seem to impact a game in it’s final minutes. At $18 million per season (YIKES!), he was massively, MASSIVELY, overpaid.

    To me, he’s a good sixth man on an excellent team. Otherwise, if he’s starting on a bad team, he’s rather inconsequential.

    There is no question in my mind that I’d rather have a 30 year old Hedo than an older, seemingly skill-declining Marion. I believe Hedo will excel in Toronto; Marion’s career will continue to descend, wherever he goes.

    - brento
  20. 20.

    I don’t know Hedo’s career rebounding stats but as I said, they would certainly have been better in Orlando without playing by the Superman rebound machine (20 a game on more than a few occasions is INSANE).

    Could he pull down 5 more a game in TO to average 10???

    I bet he comes close.

    Marion was not signing here, believe it. And this team with Parker, Delfino etc would have had no buzz and missed the playoffs again.

    Look what Detroit, Orlando, Cleveland and Boston have all done/attempting to do.

    We needed a big acquisition, not a recirculation of old names here. We have a starting 3 – 6’10, 6’11 and 7′ I believe and some grit off the bench (including another 7 footer.

    I’m looking forward to the year starting again!

    - Gary
  21. 21.

    Hey Eric,

    My main issue with the signing is more to do with basketball. I was wondering what you think of the TSN article which summarizes some concerns relating how he would fit with the team and their style (rebounding, athleticsm, defense, etc…). Do you agree? if not, please elaborate. Thanks.

    - Dean
  22. 22.

    Great that the Fans are happy with this move!!!!

    Next on list L.Keliza and Rasho.N

    If I know BC he will get these moves done and get a good bench by fall!!!

    - Raps Fan
  23. 23.

    Damn, if brento’s pumped, then I’m really pumped.

    I wish I could take credit for this, but credit is due to @RapsFan (Twitter ID)
    “If for no other reason then the message it sends (that the Raptors mean business), the Hedu signing is a good one.”

    We signed the top (or 2nd to Gordon) free agent and the NBA is looking at us with a bit more respect. Announces we’re serious about winning, keeping Bosh etc. The players (via Twitter) are pumped. That means something. Will we be a bit sick yrs 3 to 5? Maybe. But I’m all the sudden liking the attitude.

    Let’s win baby.

    - Tom L
  24. 24.

    I love the singning of Hedo, especially if he can bring 15-18, 5 and 5 as a season average next year. I much perfer him to the Matrix and his declining athleticism and declining shooting ability from the arc, etc. Nevertheless, we all know that good teams have a good chore of players on their bench. When the Raps were at their best, their bench was always pushing their starting five. At this point, our bench looks very weak and with little cap space and wiggle room, a bleak chance of drastically improving. BC still needs to find a 2-gaurd and another pg, to back up Jose (capable guys, not the solomons and Hassan Adams of this league), hopefully he can figure something out and bring back delfino. Great move though bringing Hedo and great point about “if” Bosh leaves, who would you rather move forward with….

    - Mr. T
  25. 25.

    why are the comments not replied upon?

    - nickq
  26. 26.

    the only person i’ve seen who was negative on this signing all along was doug smith. now lets see him back his way out of it..

    - Scott
  27. 27.

    Scott – when your negative you have to back it up. Doug said it was unlikely, but I don’t recall saying it was negative.
    I think comments are best served to promote ideas.
    nickq – most likely b/c Eric has a 3(?) DAY old baby!

    - Tom L
  28. 28.

    Thanks Tom – glad ya got my back!

    It’s a 5-day old + getting questions and comments on Twitter + questions and comments on email + did I mention the 5-day old?

    I’ll try to answer some later tonight when I’m sleep-deprived at 4am or so!

    - E. Smith
  29. 29.

    I didn’t think Doug was negative really. Doug is a good man and a friend of this blog (and blogger). TSN had an article in which the write wasn’t thrilled and I’ve had plenty of emails and Twitter comments that aren’t glowing.

    - E. Smith
  30. 30.

    Probably not enough money for Rasho and Kleiza Raps Fan … barring some shrewwwd moves by Bryan Colangelo (which I’m expecting to a certain extent). He’s not done. I’m sure of it. As I said, I don’t see him walking into the season with a bench that is heavily relying on Douby and O’Bryant behind Hump, Evans, and Roko

    - E. Smith
  31. 31.

    I disagree Dean. He fails to point out how deadly the front court of Bosh-Bargs-Hedo COULD be against many teams and how potent the pick and roll could be with any of them. And Hedo is a better rebounding and playmaker than Bargs. They’re not the same player. Plus, with Hedo having the ball a bit more, Jose can play off the ball and shoot the 3 (which he’ll be needed for on a more consistent basis this year if Kapono (and AP?) is gone).

    I’ll never turn my nose up at acquiring talent.

    How can you argue getting one of the top FA’s available in this year’s market? I’m fine with the move and the impact it could have on the Raps overall.

    - E. Smith
  32. 32.





    Information correct?


    A few ” … ” ?


    But otherwise, not sure what your problem is Sean.

    This is a BLOG. Not a column in a newspapers. Blogs are meant to be a little more laid-back; stream-of-consciousness …

    Plus, if you wanna get technical, according to “Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality (style) of the author.”

    That’s my style. If you don’t like it … sorry.

    - E. Smith
  33. 33.


    I won’t come up with wild scenarios, trade ideas, or fantasy trades, etc.

    I don’t accept that kind of stuff from readers/listeners so I won’t break my own rule and do it myself.

    We could sit here and speculate about a player or two from every roster in the league that may or may not fit what the Raptors are looking for or what the Raptors might try to do. But that won’t serve any purpose.

    I’d rather deal in reality. When there is something legit to report – as I’ve done in the past with players being traded or coaches being fired – I will get it on the air and/or in this space ASAP and we’ll talk about it. But I’m not going to create things are play the role of some fantasy or phantom GM. I’m not going to try to create rumors. I’ll deal with what’s legit; with what sources tell me or with what stories are already out there.

    Sorry, that’s the way I work man.

    - E. Smith
  34. 34.

    Firstly, I was EXTATIC when late lastnight I heard we were going to land Turk, I thought he was it was a done deal with portland.

    However… we are still very thin at the 4/5 (SG/PG) spots.. and we have not yet addressed them aside from drafting derozen..

    Eric, if our organization is truely serious about being a CONTENDER, then don’t you think this is the year we should “put our money where our mouth is” and spend to the Luxery tax like litterally _every_ other contending team in the NBA is? (ironically the one exception may be portland)

    Our biggest weakness is still the threat of someone from the perimeter driving, penetrating and creating more frantic situations for defenses to react to. I think we need to go out and spend to the luxury tax like the other serious contenders.

    - Chris
  35. 35.

    well I thought we would have signed Marion, but for all that I know he was really not interested in coming back. If you we waited around for Marion and then he signed somewhere else we really could have missed out on improving our roster.

    I think Turkoglu is a better player and losing an aging Parker I can live with. I wonder if there is any way we could sign and trade Marion for Rudy Fernandez? I can also see the raptors attracting a player at a cheap price for a chance to play everyday.

    Can Turkoglu cover the SF position. I know the faster SF players were usually defended by R Lewis and not Turkaglu. Eric what do you think?

    How do you build a championship team? DO YOU START WITH YOUR BENCH OR YOUR STARTING LINEUP.

    - ricky
  36. 36.

    Hey Eric,

    Love the blog and keep up the great work! Any thoughts on where we can get a transcript or the audio of Lon Babby’s conference call? I am reading a few quotes here and there, but I would love it if the Fan could perhaps post the audio? A lot of fans are quite interested in what Babby had to say.



    - John
  37. 37.

    a total team player, with tremendous talent. he greatly improves toronto’s roster. what i love about hedo is how he pumpfakes and gets people in the air very well and draws the foul(he does this a lot)and will only make chris bosh that much better with his ability to break down defenders off the dribble and dish to the open man. i believe he will also be able to tutor bargnani in many respects(similar builds and game) eric, i think you’re on the button with your report with the try to be patient approach. anything could happen – but right now – they are a better team than last years even if the second unit is the same in my opinion. im excited right now!

    - andy
  38. 38.

    also, FYI, to my knowledge there wasn’t any kind of conference call with Lon Babby

    Doug Smith simplied called him himself and got the quotes.

    So there’s not “audio” to post. Sorry.

    - E. Smith
  39. 39.

    well, i’m glad we’ve got hedo now… people are talking about his lack of boards and blah blah blah… i know, people forget that reggie evans is on the team now, so long as he gets playing time, he’ll get his 6-10 boards a game… the raptors still need a shooting guard… i actually feel alright with roko being the backup to jose, but a two guard or another 3 would so help this team…

    - chefdiz
  40. 40.

    Hey Eric,

    I’m confused about this renouncing of rights thing. I know that the NBA has a soft cap, so couldn’t the Raptors go over to cap? Has this organization ever been over the cap in it’s history?

    - James from Mississauga
  41. 41.

    Also, what do you think of signing players like Luther Head and Walter Hermann. These guys have something to prove and could come pretty cheap and would probably be 1 year contracts. The Raps could sure use some extra shooters on the bench to help out Douby.

    - James from Mississauga
  42. 42.

    There are a lot of questions to think about. Like…why couldn’t we have him from the start instead of Jason Kapono? This is the thing that bothers me. Don’t get wrong guys. Hedo is a great pick-up yes because just think back of what crew he was with in those days. Webber, Bibby, Peja, Vlade, D.Christie. The Sacramento days.

    Just thinking. If Pops don’t come back to assist Reggie Evans & Bosh…that leaves a pathetic Euroleague bench. I say trade 75% of that bench and try go after a back up guard like Eddie House and Matt Barnes. Even bring back MoPete for defense wise.

    If he is just coming here for the money and this so-called international thing, the Raptors ain’t that serious about an NBA championship.

    Just a lot of questions to be filled!!!

    - BOJACK
  43. 43.

    Eric, im just asking for a favour. On your twitter account can you tell your “followers” to vote for Adam Lind for the allstar game.


    - Luka
  44. 44.

    I love the signing and could care less about Parker and Marion. The only hope I have is that we can sign Delfino even after losing his rights because he’s got some grit that I’ve always liked and the raps were missing with Parker at the 2.

    - Mani
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