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Kentucky’s James Young, Duke’s Rodney Hood declare for NBA draft


Two swingmen likely taken in the first round will be entering the NBA Draft.

Kentucky’s James Young made it official, declaring through the university he is going to enter the draft.

Duke’s Rodney Hood will join him in this draft class, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Young has good NBA size, 6’7” with a 6’11” wingspan, and he is extremely athletic. Those kind of things get you drafted and why he is considered a pick in the teens by some. But PBT’s draft expert, Ed Isaacson of and Rotoworld, sees a couple red flags. While he shot 34 percent from three this season and can be a good long-range shooter he is not consistent right now, Isaacson said.

“He needs serious work on ball handling and defense,” Isaacson added.

Hood was expected to go pro, Mike Krzyzewski even hinted at it after Duke was eliminated from the tournament.

Hood, who spent just one year at Duke after transferring from Mississippi State, is 6’8” and has the athleticism and movements of an NBA wing. He also can shoot the rock — 42 percent from three with a sweet looking stroke — who can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. Those things will get him a look by NBA teams. His defense was in question, but Isaacson said his defense has improved this season.

“He needs to watch a tendency to force things or on flip side, disappear for long stretches,” Isaacson said. “I would expect him to be picked 12-18.”

DraftExpress has Young going 15 and Hood 22. Mocks shift some after the lottery. The middle of the draft becomes pretty fluid after the combine and workouts give teams ideas of whom they really want in those slots.

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.