Turkoglu makes nice with Raptors

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:21 PM ET

To nobody's surprise, Hedo Turkoglu has made nice with the Raptors.

In a Turkish interview earlier this week, the chastened forward downplayed his criticism of the team and request to be traded. Thursday, on the same Turkish TV outlet he made the original trade request, Turkoglu backtracked significantly.

According to ESPN, Turkoglu is making things right after chatting extensively with new Toronto assistant P.J. Carlesimo, a friend dating to their days in San Antonio.

ESPN translated part of Turkoglu's latest interview:

"As a basketball player, my only goal is to perform at the highest level again. I want to play in a system that fits me," Turkoglu said. That jives with his recent remarks that his only issues here were with the way he was (under) utilized.

Turkoglu thrives as a facilitator, but played off the ball too much last season.

He added:

"Everybody makes mistakes, that's a fact. Both parties think that it's time to correct them. Toronto wants me back and to take the leading role. I'm happy that Carlesimo is here, and we will all see what summer brings. I don't have any problems with the city of Toronto or the Raptors. I want to be able to perform at the highest level."

The development is good news for the Raptors as a motivated and more featured Turkoglu will be able to up his trade value significantly from its current rock-bottom state.

Similarly, the fact that so many teams are chasing free agent Chris Bosh is also a positive development for the club.

The team is hoping a bidding war breaks out and forces teams to up their sign-and-trade options for the perennial all-star.

Chicago and Houston, both pining for Bosh, have many enticing assets to offer the Raptors.

The return from Miami might not be as pleasant.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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