Adam Jun

Chicago Perspective

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Magic's Turkoglu Worth a Look For Bulls

September 26, 2013

Imagine you're at Goodwill hunting with your roommates. You're looking through old shirts and clothes to complete your Halloween costume. Or boots for your hiking trip. Maybe you're at it for school looking for the perfect, worn leather couch to anchor your living room. 

Oh, look! You tell your friend...No that's got a stain on it... Oh, look! ...Nope that sweater is one thread from unwinding, son... Oh, look! ....No.....

And so it goes for Bulls personnel decision-makers John Paxson and Gar Forman in the late-off-season hunt to fill the roster.  

Sifting through questionable characters, old-timers and other team's cast-offs, Gar/Pax look to spot that rare gem.

Enter the six-foot-ten Hedo Turkoglu. 

The 34-year-old Turkish-born Turkoglu is in the middle of buy-out negotiations with an Orlando Magic team that is in full re-build mode a year after trading it's cournerstone center, Dwight Howard. 

Though he has fallen off considerably in recent years, Turkoglu's strengths are his ability to handle the ball, excellent court-vision and his long-range shooting ability from a set position. 

A career 38.1% 3-pt shooter, Turkoglu has shot over 40% in 5 of his 13 seasons as a pro. By comparison, the Bulls shot 35.3% (21st overall) as a team in 2012-13. 

Turkoglu is also a classic "point-forward" who uses his height, handle and superior vision to dissect defenses. 

Before I inaccurately paint him as the perfect player, it's important to note his flaws and the striking decline he's experienced. 

Before last season--which was an injury-riddled disaster for Turkoglu-- then ESPN Insider analyst John Hollinger rated Hedo as a subpar defensive player, weak finisher and poor rebounder. Hollinger went on to note that his "slow feet and low-wattage motor" make him a liability on defense. 

Turkoglu has accumulated a wealth of postseason experience (93 games between the Magic and Sacramento Kings) in his career, and was the Magic's second best player when the matched up against the L.A. Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals. So a good 4 and one half years ago.

Why is Turkoglu worth a look?

One of the old tried-and-trues in the NBA is you can never have to much shooting. The Bulls qualify. And they're not looking for a rotation-ready, every night player, which appears to be more than Turkoglu can handle at his advanced age. But Turkoglu would conceivably cause match-up problems in the right spots. He'd figure to give the Bulls some spot up shooting, and it doesn't hurt to have another ball-handler. His ability to see the floor would figure to be the ideal fit for Coach Tom Thibodeau's share-the-ball philosophy. I'll take my chances that Thibs can hide him on defense. 

What are the odds the comes to Chicago?

Probably not the highest, as Turkoglu will likely command more money overseas. It depends on how much Turkoglu wants to win a title, and he never has come across as the most engaged, win-first type of player: take a look at his "Ball" post-game interview. But then again I could have him all wrong. After all, Jameer Nelson once famously told the media: 

"His English has gotten worse," in an interview. When media members chuckled, Nelson added: "No, seriously, his English got worse."

Turkoglu is guaranteed only $6 million of his $12 million 2013-14 salary, and as mentioned above, the Magic are trying to get that number down further. Depending on how much the final number is may play a role in Turkoglu's decision to pursue another NBA job or head back overseas.

Will keep you updated as the story develops.  

More birthday fun: Bulls icon Scottie Pippen turned 48 yesterday, September 25th. Many more Scottie!

Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for the Chicago Hoops Blog on

Follow him on Twitter, or the Bulls G+ for the latest developing Bulls news.

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