Former Orlando Magic great Hedo Turkoglu is hanging up his sneakers for the final time. On Friday, the 15-year veteran announced his retirement from the NBA. Turkoglu, who had two stints with the Magic, will be honored by the Magic on December 18th against the Portland Trail Blazers.
After spending four years with the Sacramento Kings and one with the San Antonio Spurs, Turkoglu signed a five-year deal with the Magic as a free agent. Over the next five seasons, Turkoglu transformed his game, turning into one of the premier "point-forwards" the game had. Turkoglu's growth and success within coach Stan Van Gundy's offense earned him the Most Improved Player of the Year award during the 2007-08 season, a year in which Turkoglu averaged career highs in points (19.8), rebounds (5.7) and assists (5.0) per game.
The following season, Turkoglu spearheaded the Magic's run through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals, the franchises second appearance in the series. After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, Turkoglu left the team in free agency, opting to sign a long-term, high dollar deal with the Toronto Raptors.
Things didn't work out for the 6-foot-10 Turkish national in Toronto, resulting in a trade to the Phoenix Suns. After just a quarter of a season with the Suns, Turkoglu was re-acquired by the Magic in the blockbuster that saw Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and a first round pick -- later used to selected Nikola Mirotic -- go to the Suns in exchange for Turkoglu and Jason Richardson.
While his second stint with the team didn't go well -- Turkoglu battled injuries and stretches of poor play -- his legacy within the team will never change. He's the best small forward in the teams history, and had a huge hand in changing the landscape of the NBA to what we see it is today.
Across his eight years with the team, Turkoglu averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field, and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Per a press release from the Magic, Turkoglu said the following. "I am very thankful and grateful for the opportunity to live out my dream and play in the NBA," said Turkoglu. "I will always remember my teammates, coaches, staff members and all of the fans who made my career so wonderful for myself and my family."