Saturday, July 4, 2009

Raptors Offseason - Hedo Loves TO (and Pizza)

The Raptors shocked the world last night when Hedo Turkoglu made an eleventh hour decision to snub Portland and sign with the Raptors. The deal is reported to be for 5 years and $53 million and came about when Hedo and his wife decided that they would rather be on the East coast 5 hours closer to his homeland in Turkey in a multicultural city.

Since reading about this late last night I have gone through a number of emotions and reactions. At first I had a WTF moment. Then I warmed up to it. After sleeping on it I returned to WTF. However I think I will try to be patient to see how the rest of free agency period goes for Colangelo and the Raptors.

My take on the deal is the same as others, make no mistake this is another swing for the fences type move. It adds a scorer, shot creator and late game go to option on the wing that Toronto hasn't had in years. The only problem is that he is 30 years old. Now that said the reported deal to Marion was for 4 years making both players the same age (35) at the end of their deals. Would I rather have a more skilled guy at 35yrs old than a player that relies on his athleticism 95% of the time? My answer to that is YES. They sacrifice a bit on the defensive side losing Marion as he was a better one on one defender and a much better rebounder but I think they can make up for it with a good team defensive scheme.

This move represents a decided change in philosophy for the Raptors as it was my understanding that they were looking to push tempo and use atheleticism to help them win games. Adding Hedo means that its going to be much more half court oriented with the Raptors spreading the floor and using pick and roll a tonne. This I am ok with provided this is the direction they go now.

Overall this is only a good deal if Colangelo can find USEFUL min salary guys to fill the end of the bench. Doug Smith mentioned some names this morning in his blog that might slip through the cracks given the way free agency has panned out. Adding a Matt Barnes would be a huge score for this team but I suspect he will sign for more somewhere else. Hell I'd even welcome Jamario Moon and Pops Mensah-Bonsu back at this point.Only so I wouldn't have to watch the putrid gang of scrubs currently on the bench. Perhaps Moon and Tyrone Lu would make sense as min salary guys coming off the bench.

As for the cost and length of the deal, well its not my money and it appears as though Chris Bosh likes the move (as per his Twitter account) so at least we know how he feels. The Raptors would have the Mid level next year to add depth and there is always trade and the draft. If this doesn't work out then they can flip bosh for a couple of useful pieces so its not too bad.

So welcome to Toronto Hedo Turkoglu, hopefully Bosh can show you where to get a good slice of Pizza.

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