30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

NBA (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
NBA (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images) /
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Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo Turkoglu (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 23. Hedo Turkoglu

Much like Gerald Wallace earlier, Hedo Turkoglu was a member of a Sacramento Kings team that was never able to fully realize his potential because of the depth of talent playing in front of him. He had his moments with the Kings, averaging 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in his second season off the bench. He played three seasons with them before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs, where he spent a single season.

Turkoglu would move on to the Orlando Magic and his career took off. As part of a Magic team that thrived by playing shooters around Dwight Howard, Turkoglu found the perfect role for his game. He shot 38.0 percent or better from 3-point range for four straight seasons and was named the Most Improved Player in 2008 after averaging 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5. assists per game on shooting splits of .456/.400/.829.

The following season, the Magic would be even better, making the NBA Finals after knocking off LeBron James and the Cavaliers along with the Boston Celtics. Turkoglu was not the best player on the team but, along with Rashard Lewis, was the perfect complement to Howard. Turkoglu would leave the team after the Finals loss and never quite recaptured the magic of Orlando. He first went to the Toronto Raptors, where he was a bad fit almost immediately. He was traded one year into a four-year contract to the Phoenix Suns where he spent part of a season before being sent back to the Magic.