Hedo warming to the Raptors organization

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Hedo Turkoglu was one of last season’s biggest free-agent flops. His play was inconsistent, his attitude was called into question, and the intangibles he was supposed to bring from Orlando didn’t keep the Raptors from being kept out of the playoffs. 
After the season, Turkoglu made it worse by stating that he did not want to return to Toronto during an appearance on Turkish television. On Thursday, Turkoglu was back on that same TV channel, but a visit from new Raptors assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo seems to have changed Turkoglu’s attitude about playing in Toronto.
Here are a few translations of what Turkoglu said during his appearance, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Henry Abbott:
“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. I’m happy that Carlesimo is here, he’s a good friend of mine since my Spurs days.”
“Everybody makes mistakes, that’s a fact. Both parties [Hedo and Raptors management] 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.”
It sounds like Hedo has cooled off a little bit, which is a good thing for both him and the Raptors franchise, who would have been forced to sell Hedo at the nadir of his value. Hopefully Hedo will get with the program next season; with Chris Bosh likely gone, Turkoglu is going to need to step his game up in a major way next year. 

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.