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Will Turkoglou join “Olympiakos”?

19 June 2009 / 13:06:10  GRReporter
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One of the key-players of the NBA finalist “Orlando Magic”- Hidaet “Hedo” Turkoglou, Turkey, is ready to leave his current team.

The reason, according to the Turkish mass media, for Turkoglou to … his contract with “Orlando” is a better offer from the Greek “Olympiacos.” The Pirea team proposed a two-year contract to the value of ?8mil.

From June 30, as announced by Lon Bebi, the player’s agent, Hedo is a free agent. ”At the 2008/09 play-offs he proved to be an excellent basketball player and can be better paid. Hedo enjoyed the time he spnt with “Orlando Magic” and he is going to have this in mind while assessing new offers.”

On the other hand, Turkoglou announced that no negotiations with “Olympiakos” have taken place. The player, however, did not deny such opportunity completely thus diplomatically leaving the door for negotiations open.

In a conversation in “Sentra FM” radio station, he clarified that no contract proposal came from “Olympiakos”: “Those are just rumors, nothing more. An official offer has not been received. I have never spoken to anybody from “Olympiacos”.

Despite that, Turkoglou noted that if a serious offer was to be made, he wouldn’t even think about it: “Of course, why not? I am an European and I can return to Europe any minute now. And this can also happen this summer. If the negotiations stage is reached there will be a discussion about what their offer is and what are mine. We will sit together and talk about this. It is not easy to say yes or no right now. What I know for “Olympiakos” is that the club administration would like to turn it into the best European team.”

“Orlando Magic” will most probably try everything to keep the player, which, however, would mean considerable expenditures for the Florida team on salary and the so-called “luxury tax.”

The major competitor for the basketball player is “Portland”. Other candidates are “Detroit”, “Toronto” and “Atlanta”.

All of the clubs listed are prepared to pay significant amounts to Turkoglou (with an expected minimum of $10mil), without altering this way the salary ceiling.

On the other hand, Otis Smith, the general manager of “Magic”, believes that his club will manage to keep the player, who was the first Turk ever to play in NBA. “Turkoglou is having a good time in “Orlando”, therefore I assess the chances for him to stay with us as significant”- said Smith.

In 2008/09 play-offs Turkoglou had the highest playing time in “Magic” (36.6 min averagely for a game) and was third in effectiveness – 16.8 points and 4.9 assists in a game. His team however came second to “Los Angeles Lakers.”

If Hedo is going to entertain Greek basketball lovers, we are about to find out after June 30.

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