Raptors announce flurry of wheeling and dealing
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, July 9, 2009 4:10PM EDT
TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors acquired Turkish forward Hedo Turkoglu from the Orlando Magic while picking up forward Devean George plus swingman Antoine Wright from the Dallas Mavericks in a pair of sign-and-trade deals Thursday.
In exchange, the Raptors sent cash to Orlando, a 2016 second-round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies, and forward Kris Humphries, centre Nathan Jawai and cash to the Mavericks, who also signed Shawn Marion.
Dallas also sent cash to the Magic, and traded swingman Jerry Stackhouse and cash to the Grizzlies for guard Greg Buckner to complete the complicated four-team deal.
The end result is a dramatic roster facelift for the Raptors, who finished a dismal 33-49 last season.
"We are very pleased to have landed one of the top free agents available this summer," Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo said in a release. "Hedo Turkoglu is an ideal fit basketball wise, and his diverse skill set and size will make him a tremendous addition to our already offensively potent team."
The six-foot-10 Turkoglu was one of the biggest free agents available, coming off an appearance in the NBA finals with Orlando.
The nine-year NBA veteran appeared poised to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers last Friday before Colangelo virtually stole him under their nose.
Turkoglu's agent Lon Babby said the player and his wife Banu were intrigued by Toronto's ethnic diversity, especially the city's large Turkish community.
Turkoglu opted out of his Orlando contract when the team acquired Vince Carter from New Jersey. Turkoglu was due $7.3 million next season, the final year of a $36-million, six-year deal.
He averaged 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last season, and averaged 12.3 points and 4.2 rebounds over his career, which included stints with Sacramento and San Antonio before he signed with Orlando as a free agent in 2004.
Turkoglu is a 38.5 per cent shooter from three-point range.
Turkoglu will join a team that already has a distinctly international flavour, with Jose Calderon of Spain, Croatia native Roko Ukic, and Italian centre Andrea Bargnani, who agreed to a five-year contract extension Wednesday.
George is a 10-year veteran who has played seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and the past three with the Mavericks. He has averaged 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 585 career contests.
Wright completed his fourth NBA campaign in 2008-09. He has split his time between the New Jersey Nets and the Mavericks. He was taken 15th overall by the Nets in the 2005 NBA Draft. He was dealt by the Nets to Dallas on February 19, 2008.
The six-foot-seven, 215 pound Wright matched a career-high by averaging 7.3 points last season for Dallas. He added 2.1 rebounds and 23.9 minutes in 65 games, including 53 starts.
The Raptors acquired Marion from the Miami Heat last February in a trade for centre Jermain O'Neal. In 27 games with Toronto, he averaged 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 35.3 minutes.