What Can Fans Expect from Hedo Turkoglu?

SBN’s Raptors HQ came through with a fantastic preview of the ‘09 Raptors, a team that’s seen more turnover on their roster than anyone in the league. Bryan Colangelo doesn’t mess around, and, dissatisfied with last season’s results, he brought in freakish athletes like Amir Johnson and Demar DeRozan, and bruisers like Jarrett Jack and Reggie Evans. But chief among the additions was Hedo Turkoglu. Raptors HQ offers their take:

5. What can fans expect from Hedo Turkoglu?

The acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu did not come without criticism. Hedo has been given a handsome contract for someone who is likely on the downside of his career and there will be high expectations on him to perform near an All-Star level. The expectations as of today are very high.

Unfortunately when a player comes into a new situation with high expectations the results are often mixed. It will take some time for all of these new faces to gel and create solid chemistry. There will be some bumps in the road as Hedo, Bosh and Bargnani all learn to work together. What is concerning is that reports are indicating that Hedo is worn out after last seasons run to the Finals and this summer playing with his National Team. If Hedo does not come into camp fully healthy, thus delaying this team’s ability to develop as a unit, this could prove very detrimental to this teams aspirations. I fully expect a rocky start but hope I am wrong.

You have to give them credit: the Raptors HQ guys are being realistic. Acquiring Hedo was far riskier for the Raptors, than say, it would have been for Portland, where he nearly ended up. Toronto’s a young team approaching a crossroads— with Chris Bosh set to decide whether he’ll stick around Toronto for a longterm deal, this year’s critical—and a rough year from Hedo could bode very poorly from a team that otherwise has plenty of bright spots.

Still, if Hedo struggles, Bosh could be looking at a team whose locked into a longterm contract with a second option (Hedo) that’s not very good; surely, the open market figures to offer some greener pastures. The Raptors have been on the verge of contending for a few years now, and between Jose Calderon, Bosh, and now Derozan and Amir Johnson, they’re going to be a hell of a team to watch. With that in mind, let’s hope Turkoglu proves to be the final piece of the puzzle, and not a misfit that wrecks the game for everyone.

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