Turkoglu almost joined Sun


Paul Coro

Steve Nash and Joe Johnson in the backcourt and Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Hedo Turkoglu
up front.It sounds like an NBA "Where Amazing Happens" commercial cast from four teams, or maybe even an All-Star collection if Turkoglu ever gets his credit. It nearly was the Suns’ 2004-05 starting lineup.

Things still turned out well in that 62-20 season, with the Suns signing Quentin Richardson instead of Turkoglu, who was an Italian dinner away from securing a future with the Suns and then-General Manager Bryan Colangelo in 2004. Turkoglu and Colangelo now are with the Toronto Raptors.

n July 2004, Turkoglu was a 25-year-old free agent who had been a part-time starter in San Antonio. The Suns, after deciding Kobe Bryant could not be wooed, struck fast in free agency by landing Nash. They wanted to pair him with Mehmet Okur. When Okur received a $50 million deal from Utah, Phoenix turned its focus to Turkoglu.

Turkoglu was in Phoenix nearing an agreement with the Suns when they decided to break.

"It was very close," said Colangelo, who returned to his hometown Sunday. "We had him in the conference room. We more or less agreed on a number that we were zeroing in."


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