Hedo Turkoğlu signs with LA Clippers for rest of season
LOS ANGELES - Anadolu Agency
Hedo goes back to the Western Conference, where he started his NBA carreer in 2000.LA’s new sexy and ambition-filled Los Angeles Clippers announced Jan. 17 the signing of veteran Turkish forward Hedo Türkoğlu as a free agent.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed due to team policy, according to a statement released by the club.
The club’s coach Doc Rivers decided to add Turkoğlu to their all-star roster which includes talents such as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom, after the 34-year-old’s successful workout session with the team last week.
“I assume what I’ve done in the past made them think I would be a good fit,” Turkoğlu said. “That feeling right now, kind of nervous, butterflies, is there. It’s been wild for me just waiting out there and trying to see what’s going to happen.
The NBA’s first Turkish born player, Turkoğlu was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2007-08 when he averaged a career-high 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
“I hope I fit in the best way I can. Playing, not playing, it doesn’t matter. It’s just about being a part of the great things that are going to happen for this organization,” Turkoğlu said.
The official Clippers website describes Turkoğlu one of the most versatile players in the league, enhancing the team’s options off the bench.
Rivers had mentioned earlier about signing Turkoğlu, saying “Sometimes you don’t bring a guy in because someone’s not doing something. It’s because he does something that our other guys do as well. He can space the floor. He’s very skilled and we’d like to take advantage of that.”
Turkoğlu has appeared in 897 career games (569 starts) with Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings. A 13-year NBA veteran, Turkoğlu has career averages of 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28.5 minutes per game.
The Istanbul native was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice (periods ending Jan 27, 2008 and Feb 3, 2008) and was a key member of the Orlando Magic team that appeared in the 2009 NBA Finals.
He had also been involved in controversy last year after being suspended for 20 games due to illicit drug use. Turkoğlu defended himself saying he had no knowledge the product he used for medical purposes was listed in the NBA’s list of banned substance.
He has now the opportunity to crown his NBA career in a club which places itself as a serious contestant of the western Conference title.