Hedo Turkoglu Suspended For Failed Drug Test

February 13 2013 at 10:11pm CDT By Luke Adams

10:11pm:  Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Magic GM Rob Hennigan didn't do or say much in support of Turkoglu at his press conference earlier today. 

"I think we're going to get through this step first. We'll worry about the summer when summer comes," Hennigan said. "Certainly, the Hedo situation will be one of them. We're not able to comment now on what that situation will be."

With Turkoglu due $6MM in the final year of his deal in 2013-14, Schmitz opines that the Magic could choose to buy him out of his deal.  While there was an outside shot Turkoglu could be bundled with the highly sought after J.J. Redick before the trade deadline, that chance has gone "from slight to zilch" according to Schmitz.  With the Magic in the midst of a youth movement, it sounds like Turkoglu understands his days in Orlando may be numbered.  

"I've had my best years in Orlando," he said.  "This certainly is not in my hands… Like Rob [Hennigan] says, we will wait until the summer for both futures."

4:43pm:  The NBA announced today that Hedo Turkoglu has been suspended for violating the league's anti-drug program. It's the first violation for Turkoglu, who will be suspended for 20 games without pay for testing positive for methenolone. Shortly after the NBA announced the suspension, Turkoglu released a statement of his own, taking full responsibility for what he called an "error in judgment."

"While I was back home in Turkey this past summer, I was given a medication by my trainer to help recover more quickly from a shoulder injury," Turkoglu said in the statement. "I didn't know that this was a banned substance and didn't check before taking it."

Under CBA rules, Turkoglu will be docked 1/110th of his 2012/13 salary for each game that he misses. That penalty will reduce his total salary from about $11.82MM to about $9.67MM. Additionally, 50% of the $2.15MM Turkoglu will lose due to the suspension will be removed from Orlando's team salary figure, reducing the team's overall cap hit by about $1.08MM.

The suspension shouldn't entirely rule out the possibility of Turkoglu being moved, since he likely would have only be included in a trade for salary-matching purposes anyway. Still, even though he's on an expiring deal of sorts, since his contract for next year is only partially-guaranteed, Turkoglu remains a long shot to be dealt due to his exorbitant salary.

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