Hedo Prefers Canada

ESPN’s Ric Bucher has got the scoop. According to Bucher’s unnamed source, Hedo has broken off talks with the Blazers and is now headed to Toronto.  This probably means that the Raptors are giving up on signing Marion.  It’s almost certain that Portland fans will gripe, especially considering that Toronto’s increased offer undoubtedly played into the decision.

Really though, there is no reason to fret if you’re a Blazer fan.  The Blazers are stacked at the 2 and 3 spots with young skill players.  Travis Outlaw was a legitimate contender for 6th man of the year, and is consistently improving his game.  Martell Webster at one point was considered the best pure shooter in the touted 2004 draft class.  Even though he was injured for the entirety of 08-09 season, he is still young and  a valuable prospect.  Nicolas Batum is only 20 and has shown the athletic ability to be a solid NBA player.  Already one of the Blazers’ best lockdown defenders, Batum only really needs polish.  And Rudy Fernandez proved he was an athletic slasher with the ability to shoot the 3 ball.

Quick tidbit: it looks like Avery Johnson is interviewing for the Piston’s head coaching job.

Have a great, hoops filled 4th of July weekend.  Here is NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, father of Stephen Curry, to help you with your game.

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Blazers after the Turk

At the 13 hour mark of the free-agent signing period fans are awaiting the first major deal.  Nonetheless, there are things to talk about.Turk + Trophy

It looks like the Portland Trailblazers, are in hot pursuit of Hedo Turkoglu.  Turkoglu would immediately improve the Blazers lineup, likely replacing Nicolas Batum in the starting rotation.  If the deal goes down minutes at the small forward spot might be thin for Blazer players, especially with the steady improvement of Travis Outlaw and the athletic youngster Batum.  Ignoring the issues of chemistry, the Blazer squad could look quite impressive, not to mention, HUGE. Although Brandon Roy isn’t taller than the prototypical two guard, he plays bigger than he is.  With: 6’10 Turkoglu at the three, the lanky 6’11 Lamarcus Aldridge at power forward and Joel “the vanilla gorilla” Pryzbilla inside, the Blazers would have the potential to create serious matchup problems.  If the deal goes down the Blazers will win the Northwest division.

Also, no big surprise here, it looks like Kobe will try to sign a contract extension with the Lakers instead of jumping ship.  The injury cursed Houston Rockets are rumored to be after backup Orlando Magic Center, Marcin Gortat, to replace Yao if his injury does prove to be season or career ending.  If, and this is a big if, the Rockets can sign Gortat or another decent center, retain Ron Artest and stay healthy they will still have a great squad.  One other note: it’s rumored Ben Gordon will end up a Piston.

Stay tuned as free agency continues to unfold, it’s bound to be fun.