We may soon be adding one more name to the list of NBA players forever hated in Toronto. Hedo Turkoglu, who was already getting booed by Raptors fans toward the end of his first season with the team amidst poor play and accusations of excess partying, reportedly wants to be traded back to his original NBA home in Sacramento.
At the height of the Chris Webber/Mike Bibby era, Hedo was a valuable contributor off the bench. He’s already said he’s not happy in Toronto, and according to Yahoo! Sports, the “disgruntled” 31-year-old wants to return to the Kings:
The Kings and Raptors have yet to engage in trade discussions, sources say, but communication is a likely possibility before the end of the month. There won’t be much of a market for the declining veteran, but there are scenarios where he could make sense for the Kings.
The Kings need a small forward with an ability to put the ball on the floor and general manager Geoff Petrie drafted Turkoglu and shepherded his development into one of the NBA’s more versatile players. League executives believe Sacramento would need Toronto to minimally take forward Andres Nocioni and the two years, $13.5 million left on his contract.
The Kings seem inclined to get better in the short term with some veteran additions, and they’d have to evaluate how much more Turkoglu could give them over the next two or three seasons.
Hedo isn’t that far removed from putting up around 17-5-5 with the Magic, and for a team that needs more skilled offensive players around Tyreke Evans, could be a solid addition for the Kings. He didn’t seem to deal well with the pressure in Toronto, but in Sacramento he’d be in a situation where expectations are lowered and Tyreke is the focal point. Last season was basically the Raptors auditioning for Chris Bosh not to leave them, putting an extra layer of tension in the air, but Tyreke is locked into Sacramento for at least a few years, and Kings fans would be happy just to have a team making the jump from 20-something to 30-something wins.
Turkoglu makes $9.8 million next season, and his salary increases every year until 2013-14, where he has an option for $12.2 million.
If you’re the Kings, what would you give up for Turkoglu?