THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TORONTO — Turkish forward Hedo Turkoglu will join the Toronto Raptors after spurning the Portland Trail Blazers, according to multiple reports.
The six-foot-10 free agent helped Orlando to the NBA finals last season. On Friday, a person close to the Blazers confirmed that Turkoglu ended contract talks with them. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations.
The news of the possible signing was welcomed by Raptors star Chris Bosh, who wrote on his Twitter feed: “”I hope Hedo signs with us.”
Turkoglu opted out of his Orlando contract last week when the team acquired Vince Carter from New Jersey. Turkoglu was due US$7.3 million next season, the final year of his $36-million, six-year deal with Orlando. He averaged 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.
Turkoglu, from Turkey, is a nine-year NBA veteran. He played for Sacramento and San Antonio before signing with Orlando as a free agent in 2004.
He has averaged 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds over his career and is 38.5 per cent shooter from three-point range.
If Turkoglu signs in Toronto, it would likely end the Raptors’ attempts at re-signing forward Shawn Marion.
Marion averaged 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 games with the Raptors last season after coming to Toronto in a mid-season trade.
Multiple reports say Turkoglu’s wife wanted a move to Toronto because of its international scene and large Turkish community.
NBA teams cannot officially sign free agents until July 8.