Jan 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (10) keeps a loose ball from Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) during the third quarter of a game at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto won the game 95-82. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

How Does the Paul George Leg Injury Affect the Toronto Raptors?

It was horrific.

During Team USA’s scrimmage on Friday night, Paul George attempted to block a James Harden dunk. His right leg was fully extended as he flew through the air. When he landed, his leg jammed against the stanchion and his knee crumpled. The gruesome video is here at the Toronto Sun. Check it out. Once is plenty.

The NBA fraternity erupted in immediate support. Players like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash comprised a giant list of players who offered their support via Twitter. DeMar DeRozan added his concern, tweeting:

The scrimmage was immediately cancelled and planned cuts to the squad have been indefinitely postponed, as Team USA demonstrated class and respect for Paul George after his injury.

Paul George will likely miss an entire year. Kevin Ware of the Louisville Cardinals suffered a similarly devastating leg  injury in March 2013 and required a full year’s recovery. He’s back playing now. George will make it back, too.

How Does This Affect the Toronto Raptors?

Jul 30, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA forward Kenneth Faried (33) talks with guard DeMar DeRozan (45) during a practice session at Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of this injury, I find it impossible to ignore the implications for the Raptors. DeRozan’s chances of sticking with Team USA are now stronger. That means his risk of suffering a major injury are stronger, too. For anything short of the Olympics – and even the Olympic Games come into question, honestly – how comfortable can teams and fans be with sideshow sporting events like FIBA Basketball World Cup that put players in a position to get injured?

Star players put their bodies at risk every time they play for their country. Heck, not even just their bodies. They put their livelihood at risk, too. A drawn-out or imperfect recovery could be disastrous for any player’s future NBA earnings. That’s a lot to ask.

I find myself hoping that DeRozan gets cut. An injury to the Raptors star would have huge (read: very, very bad) implications for himself and his team. But with George now injured, the chances of DeRozan making this team are stronger.

So is my feeling of dread.

What do you think, Raptors fans? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Tags: Demar Derozan Paul George Toronto Raptors

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