The Brooklyn Nets are looking to make small upgrades before the playoffs and have identified Orlando Magic forward Hedo Türkoğlu as a potential trade target before the February 21st trading deadline, said veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey on the Crossover podcast on Sunday.
The Nets, Vecsey said, don't see themselves as championship contenders yet and will look to make a small trade rather than a splashier one. "They might get Türkoğlu for the rest of the year for Kris Humphries' contract," Vecsey said.
Türkoğlu, who turns 34 on March 19, is averaging 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game for Orlando in the final guaranteed season of his contract. He is owed $12 million in 2013/14, but only $6 million of that money is guaranteed, according to ShamSports. What that guarantee means is that Orlando, or whichever team holds his rights over the summer, can pay him $6 million to become a free agent. The $6 million would count against his team's salary cap for the balance of the season.
Türkoğlu has made just 10 appearances for Orlando after breaking his left hand in the team's season opener. He missed 28 games to recover from that injury, but his return to the lineup lasted only five games as he discovered he needed more time to improve his conditioning. He has played in each of the Magic's four games on their current roadtrip, averaging 12.7 minutes per game.
Prior to the 2012/13 season, Humprhies signed a two-year deal worth $24 million. Swapping Türkoğlu for Humprhies would limit Orlando's flexibility in the summer of 2013, but would not complicate the Magic's longer-term goal of freeing up cap space for the 2014 free-agent class.
Humphries turns 28 on Wednesday and is averaging 6.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 20.2 minutes for Brooklyn. He lost his starting power-forward job to Reggie Evans on December 9th and has averaged just 14.9 minutes since Brooklyn replaced coach Avery Johnson with P.J. Carlesimo on December 28th.
With a tip of the hat to NetsDaily.