NBA / Jul 2, 2009 / 10:51 am

Toronto Raptors Not Messing Around

Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando Sentinel)
Give Bryan Colangelo and the Toronto Raptors franchise some credit – after a miserably disappointing 2008-’09 season, they appear determined to shake up and improve their roster by any means necessary, even if it means potentially taking on huge free agent contracts and/or dealing Chris Bosh.

Of all the NBA teams in the free agent market, it seems like the Raptors are the most active. A scan of this morning’s news and rumors has them reportedly preparing a 5-year, $60 million free agent offer to Hedo Turkoglu – a full $10 million more than what the Portland Trail Blazers supposedly put together for the same number of years.

It appears that whichever team loses out on Turkoglu will then be in prime position to sign Trevor Ariza for something in the mid-$30-$40 million range. Obviously, Ariza isn’t quite Hedo, but if he can consistently provide the energy, defense, and scoring pop that he did for the Lakers in the playoffs, he would be a huge asset for either team.

The Raptors were also allegedly in the mix to sign Charlie Villanueva, but now that he’s been wrapped up by Detroit, Toronto is reportedly interested in trying to steal Linas Kleiza. Linas is one of the most underrated free agents in this year’s pool and would be perfect in Toronto. He can shoot, play D, and brings scrap and toughness to the table – qualities all desperately needed in Toronto. It’s doubtful that Denver will let Kleiza go, but if Toronto makes an offer Denver can’t match, there’s not much the Nuggets can do about it.

Finally, it’s being reported this morning that the Raps are considering making an $8-$10 million offer to restricted free agent David Lee. If they’re suddenly willing to pay that kind of money for another forward, you have to think that something may be on the horizon with Chris Bosh. A trade in the works? Or just no plans to re-sign him at the end of next season?

No matter how this plays out for Toronto, if you’re a Raptors fan, you have to be pleased that your squad is in it to win it and not just floating along like a lot of other teams, content to be mediocre.

Photo. Orlando Sentinel

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  • jzsmoove

    Its still all speculations until the FA signs on the dotted line. Its good to hear they in the mix but I dont want them to overpay either. Those numbers are too high for both david Lee and Hedo. I also dont see how they will mesh into a contending team without Bosh in it with the two.

  • Scott

    As a Raps fan, all our concerns about BC being the real deal are gone, clearly no one knows whats going to happen, but his activity, and aggressiveness is exciting to say the least.

  • PALakerFan

    Yeah Scott, but $12 mil per for Hedo is nuts!!! Is he really better than Marion or Artest for less money? I appreciate aggressiveness too but that seems misplaced.

  • Scott

    Its all reports… according to other sources Toronto would have to renounce all their FA’s to give him that kind of money. It doesn’t seem like that’s happening, you gotta figure that its probably Hedo’s agent who’s playing up these numbers, cuz the rumor is that Hedo ‘likes Toronto’, which could be a ploy to make other teams ala the Blazers pay up.

    Personally, I’d rather see Ariza in a Raps uni, at 24, if DeRozen can get his ish together and become the player he’s projected to be, that could be a heck of a 2/3 starting tandem.

    Btw, I think Toronto has bird rights on Marion… seems like they’re trying to spend their cap space before turning to the Marion issue, which would be a smart move.

  • http://www.dinonationblog,com James Borbath AkA The Dino Blogger

    I am suppose to be happy that we are suppose to be over paying for a guy that clearly won’t be worth it at the end of this deal? If the Raptors did this it would be a short term possible win and a long term loss guaranteed so I don’t know why you would think this should make Raps fans happy at all. Do they make a big splash and get noticed on the surface? Sure but in the end they are going to regret that contract and pay for it down the line should it ever be signed at the numbers and term suggested here.

  • NC

    Hahahaha! Was this article written to ease the pain from the previous one … AI dropping 54? I love it!

  • wiz

    We always seem to forget that the player has to agree to sign does hedo even want to play in toronto…

    and i wonder who is looking in to adding rashad mccants if the cavs dont get ariza, mccants would be my next choice.

  • nick

    i’d rather have ariza then hedo. hedo is a green light on denfense where ariza is pretty solid in that regard. also he is young and is much improved on offense even from a yr ago.

    david lee would be the best option if raps could get him. teams weakest spot is rebounding so he would help a ton. only issue is then team is gonna have to start bargs, bosh and lee together.

    if raps can’t get either hedo or ariza, personally i’d like them to bring back marion.

  • Akash

    The thing about the raptors is, its hard for them to lure free agents, harder than some american cities (even though toronto is alot more happenin than oklahoma, memphis, portland etc.) So when they sign a free agent typically there gonna have to pay 1 or 2 million more per year just to make sure he signs and stays.

  • UltimateRapsFan4

    I think Turkoglu was an alright move not amazing like some of you think but i think if we brought back marion it would of given us more versatility and athleticism. I think if we can land Kleiza and Lee we will go quite far in the playoffs and with the improvment of Bargani and soon to be Derozen it will make are team a lucky hopefull

  • mo

    I think the raptors should trade bosh now, I was thinkin a 3way with the jazz and warriors..what u guys think: raptors get biendris, bellini, and ak47, the warriors get bosh, reggie evans, and marcus banks, and the jazz get corey maggette

  • (Y)oung(C)ea$$er

    Raps should sign Allen Iverson! Think about it,


    The raptors aren’t going to be contending and i see them as a 7,6, maybe 5 seed. Colangelo should just take the risk and sign him to a multi-year deal. I’m pretty sure when other FAs see a big 3 of Hedo,Iverson, and Bosh, they would love to come and play in Toronto. Add some good young athletic reserves around that big 3 and you have a contender. —->I M O<—- (raptor fans, don’t kill me now)

  • AussieRaptor

    Iverson???? Why would they do that?

    Putting up points won’t be a problem and they don’t need his baggage, They do need a defensive stopper at the 2 to guard Kobe, Wade, Lebron and the likes.

    Hopefully DeRozen turns out to be an Ok defender.

    As for Turkoglu, he’s worth every penny, with the game on the line who would you want to have the ball? Bosh, Calderon, Bargs or Turk? Turk is the only one who can create his own shot, be willing to take the game winning one and 9 time out of 10 make it.