Apparently Doc Rivers’ public overtures about Hedo Turkoglu were not a smokescreen. According to Turkish sportscaster, Ismail Senol, Turkoglu will sign with the Clippers for the rest of the season pending a physical.
Hidayet Türkoğlu is in LA. Pending a physical, he will sign a contract with Clippers until the end of this season.
— Ismail Senol (@ismailsenol) January 15, 2014
Last tweet from Turkish basketball maven @ismailsenol meshes with rumbles out there that Hedo has been hoping to land more than mere 10-day
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 15, 2014
The Clippers brought in Turkoglu for a meeting and workout on Thursday. Afterwards, Rivers gave some affirmation. Via ESPNLosAngeles:
“He made shots from everywhere,” Rivers said after the free agent’s workout. “He looked good. It was a good workout.”
Turkoglu played in only 11 games last season for the Orlando Magic after missing the first 28 games of the 2012-13 season with a broken hand. He was then suspended 20 games by the league after testing positive for steroids.
Turkoglu and the Magic mutually agreed stay apart this season and, after failing to find a trade partner, the team bought out his partially guaranteed contract. In the last full season he played (2011-12), Hedo Turkoglu averaged 10.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 48-percent 2-point shooting and 35.3-percent 3-point shooting. Turkoglu’s PER in 2011-12 was 11.7 (league average being 15.0).
In that final full season, Turkoglu spent 97-percent of the time designated as the small forward, per Basketball-Reference. It’s unclear that the team will utilize the Turkish forward in a different capacity as Doc has also recently stated that the Clippers were not actively searching for big man help, but perimeter and wing depth.
“I honestly haven’t given it a lot of thought, I can tell you that,” Rivers said. “We’ve had very few discussions about anyone big right now. We’re far more focused on the perimeter part of our team.”
More to come after the signing becomes official and details are released.