By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Jul 2 2009 12:40AM
Updating some of Wednesday's top NBA free agent stories:
Magic free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu will be wined and dined by the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday and Friday as they try to make a quick strike in free agency by getting Orlando's starting forward to agree to a deal. Turkoglu was set to meet in Orlando on Wednesday night with Blazers head coach Nate McMillan, according to Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby.
"We're going to start the process there, but we're going to be transparant about what we're doing," Babby said. "You can only visit one team at a time."
Babby said that other teams weren't necessarily on hold while Turkoglu visits with the Blazers, and that he planned to be speaking simultaneously with a few teams about Turkoglu in the next few days. However, he noted that the Blazers "understand the parameters of what I'm talking about" with regard to a contract. Turkoglu is looking for a five-year deal worth at least $10 million annually; so far, Orlando has only been willing to talk about a four-year deal. Babby also said that Turkoglu's deciding to take a visit in Portland does not mean it's a done deal with the Blazers.
Babby said his preference would be to get a deal for Turkoglu done early, before the official start of the free agent signing period a week from today.
Because the Blazers were one of the few teams with cap room this summer, the picture for free agent point guards will remain cloudy until Portland either signs Turkoglu or moves on. While Jason Kidd has always been expected to re-sign with Dallas, players like Atlanta guard Mike Bibby and Philadelphia guard Andre Miller may have far fewer options if Portland is no longer in the market for a point guard.
Meanwhile, Babby also disclosed that veteran forward Grant Hill would visit the Knicks on Monday. Hill, 36, played a season in Phoenix for Mike D'Antoni, now the Knicks head coach. The Knicks aren't as far along as contending teams, but Hill's interest in New York may have off-the-court roots as well: he's almost certain to step into a broadcasting booth when his days are over, and a job there for a year or two would do nothing but enhance his profile to prospective post-career employers.
And forward Josh Childress, who started the trend of NBA players going overseas last season by signing with Greek power Olympiacos for three years and $20 million, will visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, according to his agent, Jim Tanner. Childress can return to the NBA, but his rights would still be owned by the Atlanta Hawks, who drafted him in 2004, as a restricted free agent -- meaning the Hawks could match any offer from other teams for Childress. But Childress has not yet decided whether to stay in Greece for a second season or come back to the NBA.
Childress does not want to return to the Hawks, however.
The Bucks, who drafted point guard Brandon Jennings last week, are in desperate need of making another splash after trading Richard Jefferson to the Spurs last week and not tendering free agent forward Charlie Villanueva, who was in Detroit Wednesday talking with the Pistons.
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