The Los Angeles Lakers could make a run at veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu once he agrees to a buyout with the Orlando Magic.
The Lakers are still in search for talents as their key stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash continue to battle with their respective injuries. Last week, the Lakers signed second-year point guard Kendall Marshall to address their backcourt problems.
Still, the purple-and-gold franchise doesn't have enough firepower to make it into the top-8 of a very competitive Western Conference playoff race. With Bryant missing at least six more weeks due to an injured knee, the Lakers' playoff hope will heavily rely on ageing power forward Pau Gasol and a bunch of NBA journeymen such Kevin Young, Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks.
Turkoglu In Hollywood?
According to Sports Illustrated Marc Weinreich, the Magic and Turkoglu have already come up with a buyout agreement and this is expected to happen by January 7.
With the Magic looking to go youth, the 34-year old Turkoglu has become dispensable component of the team. In fact, the Magic tried to shop the Turkish big man, but his current contract ($12 million this season) scared off teams.
"The date in January is significant because all non-guaranteed contracts become fully guaranteed on Jan. 10 and waived players have 48 hours to clear waivers. As Robbins reported, Turkoglu "no longer fits into the team's plans," and the team will officially clear him from the roster by Jan. 7 in an effort to pay only half of the $12 million owed to him this season. If the Magic waive him on Jan. 8, he will not clear waivers by the Jan. 10 deadline, and thus the Magic will be stuck with paying his entire $12 million contract," Sports Illustrated stated.
Suspended 20 games last season after testing positive for banned substance, Turkoglu has not participated in the Magic training camp or appeared in a single regular-season games.
Contenders such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are expected to make a run at Turhoglu, though the Lakers provide him the best opportunity to play significant minutes on the floor.
With the Lakers deeply needing a playmaker, Turkoglu can plug that loophole because of his ability to facilitate the basketball as a 6-foot-11 point forward. Few years ago, Turkoglu was the catalyst in the Magic's remarkable playoff run that saw them facing the Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals. Therefore, signing Turk to a one-year deal seems to be a win-win solution for both parties.