Raptors pick up option on DeMar DeRozan. As they should.

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derozan-Summer.jpgIf DeMar DeRozan’s performance at the Vegas Summer League was any indication, he’s poised for a breakout year. DeRozan showed off a more polished all-around game to compliment his natural scoring instincts; he played like a guy ready to take the next step.

So today’s announcement that the Toronto Raptors have picked up the third-year team option on DeRozan’s contract isn’t exactly shocking. DeMar would be worth an extended look based on his physical tools alone, but his development thus far and desire to improve further make him a steal on the rookie scale.

DeRozan will make a paltry $2.4 million this season and $2.6 million in ’11-’12.

During his rookie campaign, DeRozan averaged 8.6 points (on 49.8% shooting) per game in 21 minutes, and with all the turnover on the Raptors’ roster, that scoring mark should see a healthy bump. Chris Bosh’s shot attempts have to go somewhere, and DeRozan is as good of a candidate as any to help fill the offensive void.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.