The latest on Hedo Turkoglu and Marcin Gortat
The Magic are braced to lose Turkoglu, the 6-10 small forward who apparently --- and we now stress apparently --- has agreed to sign with the Toronto Raptors after jilting the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Various media outlets had reported that Turk had agreed to sign with the Trail Blazers. But the romance unraveled after the Raptors committed to make moves to give him more money, reports indicating that the deal will be more than $50 million over five years.
Turkoglu's might not be signed on Wednesday, considering the Raptors might want to trade players to receive compensation instead of renouncing their rights. And that could take a while.
The Magic are prepared to close their five-year history with Turkoglu. General Manager Otis Smith told the Sentinel late Friday that the team would not be involved in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors in order to receive compensation for Turk.
Smith said Saturday that he didn't expect to receive an offer sheet from another team until Wednesday for center Marcin Gortat, who apparently has committed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. "No, I will not until signing day," Smith said, adding, "if it's true."
Orlando has the right to match any offer because Gortat is a free agent, but Smith has said that the club likely will pass if the offer climbs above $5 million per season.
Reports indicate that the Mavs are offering Gortat --- a 6 foot 11 second-year player out of Poland --- $5.8 million to start his contract.
Smith is hoping that the Magic's emergence as a contender can work as a tiebreaker in competing with other teams for players. "I think we have an attractive situation here," he said.
The Magic will be going into the tax, perhaps as much as $10 million.
Smith's top priority is find a big man after losing Tony Battie in the Vince Carter trade and, apparently, Gortat. Smith has contacted the agents for power forward Rasheed Wallace and Brandon Bass, but is no hurry to sign players. "There's more players than money," Smith said.