Turkoglu hits floor with Raps

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Relaxed and rested, Hedo Turkoglu is just about ready to jump into his first Raptors season with both feet.

The most-sought after free agent of the off-season has been catching up on some much-needed rest while the rest of his teammates got a two-week headstart on him.

Turkoglu has been around since Day 1 of training camp but yesterday marked the first time he ran sets with the team. Barring anything unforeseen he should be joining his teammates on the floor on a regular basis starting next week.

"I'm feeling better -- physically and mentally," Turkoglu said after practice. "Hopefully in the next week, I will start practising with the team and get in game shape and be 100% for opening night."

The Raptors decided soon after Turkoglu helped Turkey qualify for the 2010 FIBA world championships that he would start full workouts later than his teammates, but the forward suggested yesterday that his lack of action the first two weeks of camp shouldn't hurt him at all.

"We know we are missing the practices right now, but mentally we are there," Turkoglu said of himself and Chris Bosh, who also was held back. "We are watching and learning, so when we get on the court we won't be wondering what the hell is going on."

Just like Bosh

Few can understand better what DeMar DeRozan is going through right now than Bosh. Both came out of college after just a year, both were high first-round draft picks and both started off their NBA careers a long way from home. As far as Bosh can see, DeRozan is handling things just fine, but he cautioned DeRozan has yet to hit the really hard part of that first year in the NBA.

"Quite frankly, it's easy right now," Bosh said. "It's not cold yet, the season hasn't started, we're not playing a bunch of games in a week. He hasn't hit the rough part yet."

When it does, Bosh is confident DeRozan will handle it, just as he did.

"He's going to be fine," Bosh said. "He's a very humble guy. He loves to play basketball. He works hard and really that's all you need to get through it."

As for helping him over any humps, Bosh said it's really going to up to DeRozan.

"There's really not much you can do," Bosh said. "You tell him to keep his head up. That's all people could tell me. One day it will click for him. We all go through stuff."

MIKE.GANTER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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