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Hedo Turkoglu has backed out of negotiations with the Blazers, which could pave the way for David Lee to Portland.

"We had been talking, but we'll talk now," Lee's agent Mark Bartlestein told The Post last night.

Turkoglu reportedly agreed to terms with Portland early yesterday on a $10 million per year deal, then ended negotiations and was said to be Toronto-bound, according to

The Blazers have long lusted after Lee, who also seeks $10 million per season, exactly the amount the Blazers are under the cap. Bartlestein said because Lee is restricted, the Blazers were fearful of waiting 10 days to see if the Knicks would match and instead jumped at the surer thing in Turkoglu.

With Memphis and Detroit making other moves and Portland involved with Turkoglu, the Knicks' chances of re-signing Lee for $7 to $8 million had seemed to increase.

Bartlestein claims he has talked to nearly 15 over-the-cap teams who have proposed sign-and-trade deals with the Knicks for Lee. But because he is a base-year compensation player, it is difficult to make the math work under the CBA.

Turkoglu leaving Orlando also affects their other free agent, Nate Robinson. As the Knicks await word on Jason Kidd's decision, they are anxious to see if Robinson will sign an offer sheet on July 8 with another club. The Knicks would have 10 days to match - and that obviously would depend if they sign Grant Hill or Kidd.

According to a person familiar with the situation, two of Robinson's five most serious inquiries have come from the NBA Finalists - the Lakers and Magic. If Turkoglu winds up in Toronto, Orlando might get serious with Robinson.

Other teams who have made inquiries are the Blazers, where Robinson is beloved by Nate McMillan and Brandon Roy, Miami and the Bulls, who are in need of bench scoring after Ben Gordon's defection to Detroit. Last season, Robinson proved to be one of the league's best sixth men and had a Player Efficiency Rating that ranked sixth among point guards, ahead of Kidd and Bucks point guard Ramon Sessions.

But the Knicks are against adding contracts past 2010, attempting to plunge significantly under the cap for 2010's free-agent class. But if the Knicks get shut out in their point-guard hunt, Robinson could come back.


According to sources, Washington looks like the favorite for Stephon Marbury's next gig after Boston came up with an initial offer of $1.2 million, the veteran's minimum. Sacramento also has inquired about the guard.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 7, 2009


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