Before heading on the daunted Grammy road trip, the Los Angeles Clippers made a few roster moves which include the signing of recently-released veteran Hedo Turkoglu and signing Darius Morris to a second consecutive 10-day contract. Here is the press release that covers all bases:
The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have signed free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In additional roster moves, the Clippers have re-signed guard Darius Morris to a second 10-day contract and released guard Maalik Wayns.
Turkoglu, 34, has appeared in 897 career games (569 starts) with Orlando, Phoenix, Toronto, San Antonio and Sacramento. A 13-year NBA veteran, Turkoglu owns career averages of 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28.5 minutes per game. The 6-foot-10 inch forward is a career 38.1 percent shooter from three-point range.
The NBA’s first Turkish born player, Turkoglu 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. 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.
Turkoglu has appeared in 93 career postseason games (72 starts) with averages of 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
Originally selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Kings, Turkoglu played four seasons in the Turkish Professional League before coming to the NBA.
Morris signs his second 10-day contract with the Clippers after originally signing with the club on Jan. 6. The Los Angeles native has appeared in three games with the Clippers, averaging 1.0 point and 0.3 assists in 6.8 minutes per game.
Wayns was in his second stint with the Clippers this season and appeared in two games. The 22-year old guard missed the first 33 games of the season due to a torn left meniscus. He was waived by the team on Jan. 5 and signed to a 10-day contract on Jan. 6.
Signing Turkoglu, bringing back Morris and letting go Wayns brings the roster at 14, one spot away from the league limit of 15. This gives the Clippers a little bit of wiggle room as the trade deadline is around the corner.
I’m honestly not sure what Doc Rivers has up his sleeves here as Turkoglu joins a crowded back court that features J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, Jared Dudley and Reggie Bullock. Odds are Bullock is pushed to a role where he sees little court time while Hedo plays stretch-4, pushing Antawn Jamison completely out of the rotation. This doesn’t necessarily help the Clippers, but his playmaking could help if he plays something like the Turkoglu of old rather than the shell we’ve seen the previous two years.
It’s hard to doubt someone with a pedigree similar to Doc Rivers’, but he gets the benefit of the doubt at the moment. Worst-case scenario is that Hedo becomes a 12th man on the bench and doesn’t play, but he doesn’t necessarily help this team who is in desperate need of a third big man and someone that can improve an average-at-best defense. Maybe Andrew Bynum is still an option.
As far as the Morris-over-Wayns decision goes, Morris is a more reliable option at the time. Odds are he’ll be released when Chris Paul returns from his shoulder injury.