Leandro Barbosa is sticking around for another year

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With Leandro Barbosa facing an option for the 2011-2012 season, there was talk the Brazilian speedster might head back home in the event of a lockout, calling it quits in the NBA with his quickness fading due to wear and tear. Turns out that’s not the case, as the London Free Press reports:

Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo told QMI Agency Saturday afternoon that Barbosa has picked up his $7.6 million U.S. player option for the 2011-2012 season. Barbosa beat a midnight deadline to make a call.

via Barbosa to stick with Raptors | Other Sports | Sports | London Free Press.

Even with a significant threat of lockout, it appears that the money is too important. Not a bad plan. Barbosa can continue to heal from injuries which bothered him last season during the lockout, and resume getting paid the $7.6 million he’s due by activating the option. With the Raptors drafting Jonas Valanciunas who won’t be joining us until 2012, the roster will likely be much the same as it was last season, so when play does resume, Barbosa will still be scrapping for minutes alongside Jose Calderon, Jerryd Bayless, Sonny Weems and the occassional DeMar DeRozan stint at shooting guard.  Still, better for us to get to see the blur for a few more games.  On an expiring contract, he’ll also make a nice trade asset for Colangelo if he can skewer him in one.

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.