Hedo Turkoglu played his last game as a member of the Orlando Magic on June 14th, 2009; he was, for all intents and purposes, out the door a mere 11 days later, when the Magic acquired Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson from the New Jersey Nets. Turkoglu moved on to the Toronto Raptors in a sign-and-trade deal the Magic were happy to facilitate. Now, just before Turkoglu's first game against the Magic since joining Toronto, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel provides more details on Turk's departure. Of particular note are the contract terms the Magic offered him.
Turkoglu was upset with the Magic after what he called an "awkward" meeting with the front office following the season.
He said the Magic made an unsatisfactory offer — four years for $34 million, with the Magic insisting on holding the option on a fourth season — and some communication issues.
"They said I had a good year, it's a good market for you and we hope you get some money," Turkoglu said. "It was awkward. After that, my agent [Lon Babby] looked into other teams. Then they [the Magic] didn't return our calls. They made some kind of offer. ... It was frustrating."
Turk's experience mirrors those of other former Orlando players who felt the Magic disrespected them in free-agency, namely Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, and (most famously) Darko Milicic. Yet I believe in Hedo's case, every party got what he wanted: Hedo got his money (5 years and $53 million from the Raptors), the Magic got a trade exception (worth $6,864,200), and the Raptors got the perimeter scoring/playmaking they so desired. Turk certainly doesn't harbor any ill will toward his former Magic teammates--he refers to the Magic as "all my friends" in Schmitz's report--so there shouldn't be any animosity on the floor. But if Turk has an extra spring in his step, if it looks like he's quite driven to stick it to the Magic, it's probably because he feels the operations side of the team slighted him.