What the Clippers See in Hedo

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    Jan 18, 2014
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What the Clippers See in Hedo Photo by Lemmy Morrie

A few days ago, reports from around the NBA have stated that the Los Angeles Clippers have decided to sign 34-year old forward Hedo Turkoglu for the rest of the season. The 6'10 forward offers a rare combination of size, play-making and three-point shooting. He was considered to be the second-best player after Dwight Howard on the 2009 Orlando Magic team that reached the NBA finals while playing the role of a unconventional point forward.

However, the best days might be way past for the forward who'll be playing in his 14th season in the NBA. He hasn't had much success after the 2009 finals. He signed with the Toronto Raptors in the off-season after that but he was largely ineffectual in 2009-10. The following season, he was sent to Phoenix Suns via trade. He was unhappy with his situation with the Suns and was traded back to Orlando a little over midway into the 2010-11 season as someone who could play well with Howard who at that time was being wooed by the Magic into staying. The team didn't have much success in 2011-12 which added to the chaos of the Dwight conundrum which ended with the center being traded to the Lakers before the 2012-13 season started.

Going back to after his Finals appearance in 2009, his game seemed to have diminished and he was hobbled by injuries and also gotten suspended by the league due to the use of performance-enhancement drugs which many believed was aimed to help him recover faster from the said injuries. The Clippers know all of these and so with the signing of Hedo, they are basically taking a risk at paying for a player due to the way he used to play. So why take the risk?

With the team looking for an NBA title this year, they are willing to gamble.

As they are now, the Clippers are very limited when it comes to playmaking. So far this season, the team has had to rely so much on point guard Chris Paul to initiate the offense. Although Paul is adept at doing initiating the team's offense, coach Doc Rivers understands that they can't put all playmaking responsibility in hands of the star point guard.

If Hedo can come close to the way he used to play in his better days, he could give the Clippers an alternative and very potent offensive wrinkle that  will be very important for the championship campaign.

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