If you have not heard the story The Basketball Jones were the first to bring it to light based on a interview Hedo did on Turkish T.V. Hedo claims he does not want to return to Toronto and his lawyers are trying to work on a way for him to do just that. Well good luck with that Hedo. There are still 4 years remaining on his big money deal he signed last summer. If the Raptors were to buyout the contract that would be foolish. A 4 year hit to your salary cap? Bryan Colangelo is not an idiot. That being said can you honestly trade Hedo coming off one of the worst seasons of his career? Odds seem pretty long in doing that.
Hedo's frustration seems to be based on the incident in which he skipped a game but did not skip going out that same night. He blames the organization for this issue getting played out in the public. Is he really that stupid? In the modern world that we live in does he honestly think this info never gets out? This is the same guy that prior to being hated by the majority of fans had a run in with women that snapped his photo with a camera phone. The Raptors handled the situation as they should. Long before this incident Hedo had performed far below expectations. He slags an organization that allowed him to sit on his butt for most of training camp. This because he wore himself out playing for Turkey in the summer. Which he will do once more this summer at the World Championships. Think that would have happened under Stan Van Gundy in Orlando? In Turkoglu version of reality it is the Raptors management that turned the fans against him. Really? He honestly believes that?
Come on now Hedo, let's get real. His lack of performance is why fans were upset with him long before the night of partying when he is suppose to be injured. He says he was embarrassed by being booed by the home fans. Play like you did for the Raptors for Turkey and see what happens. When you sign a contract that entitles you to more money than most people can dream of making in a lifetime, there is a price for that fans actually expect you to earn that money. Imagine that. Hedo has proved himself to be a jerk. He made an apology to the fan base at the end of the season. At the time I said in this blog it was one of the most insincere apologies that I can recall. Well just over a month later it appears it didn't just look like it.
This only adds to the list of problems for the Toronto Raptors. It was already bad enough with Chris Bosh about to bid adieu to the franchise. Now you have this moron putting a gun to the Raptors head and giving them an ultimatum. Would he turn his back on his country if they bomb out of World Championships? No he wouldn't. However in 1 year he is ready to bail on a team that gave him 53 million dollars. Ungrateful S.O.B does not begin to describe what I think of that.
While many cheered the addition of Turkoglu last off-season. I was not part of that parade. I felt the contract was both for to much money and more importantly to long a term. That long term of this deal is coming back to bite the Raptors in a way I did not expect. I did think at least for the first couple years Hedo would be productive. That has not happened and I don't think anyone could have seen this coming after just 1 year under contract. Now that term and money make the contract almost unmovable.
Vince Carter is not exactly loved in Orlando at the moment. While people in Orlando love Hedo. How would Raptor fans feel about a Carter for Hedo trade? Yes I said it. Look as much as most hate Vince Carter. Is it not better to deal with the devil you know? Clearly no one expect Hedo to turn into a jerk when he came to Canada. But sadly this deal likely never happens. Otis Smith did not exactly have many kind things to say about Hedo once he left Orlando. It would appear Otis Smith knew a heck of a lot of this dark side to Hedo. I have never seen a G.M much more happy than Otis was once Hedo was gone. That is not to say he is thrilled with his choice to replace him. We could have told Otis all about V.C just as he could have warned us about Hedo.
There are rumours about Stan Van Gundy's future with Orlando. Which started from Micheal Wilbon leaking info that if Magic lost to Celtics he could be in trouble. It lead to a war of words with the PTI host and Stan Van Gundy. However if the Magic were stupid enough to fire SVG, I would hope the Raptors were one of the first teams on the phone to hire him. Bryan Colangelo has said the Raptors will not go there. Honestly change that plan. Maybe if you hire Stan Van Gundy he could fix this Hedo mess. Turkoglu played well under him in the past. He clearly knows how to use him. The simple reality is the Raptors would be hard pressed to trade Hedo and can simply not afford to buy him out and take a cap hit for 4 years. Regardless of the Hedo mess, Van Gundy is the style of coach the Raptors need. In the playoffs you have those wired segments. When SVG is on them it is classic stuff. I can not imagine Jay Triano doing any of that. Jay just does not seem like a guy that can convince anyone to run through a wall. Stan Van Gundy not only does that he expects you to do it.
In the end Hedo can blame whoever he wants to for his issues in Toronto. The answer to his problems is in his mirror every morning. Forgive us all if we are not going to shed a tear for a guy making far more money than he is worth. If he ends up screwing over the Raptors. I have great news for Vince Carter. You may just have moved to public enemy number 2 in Toronto. Who knows depending on how the Bosh thing goes maybe number 3. The bad news is the entire league sees you for what you are as a guy that never has lived up to your potential. Also you may be public enemy #1 in Orlando. If you want to see what Vince Carter should be. Just go back and watch Kobe Bryant close out the Suns last night. Vince could have been that good.
What was already going to be a long and difficult summer for Bryan Colangelo has become even tougher for him. It is going to be interesting how he finds a way out of this mess of his own creation. Safe bet a Hedo picture on his dart board would not surprise anyone.