Frank looking ahead, hopeful for another coaching gig

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The New Jersey Nets are Lawrence Frank’s team. Or at least they were. But Lawrence Frank is a basketball coach, and coaches coach teams. They are defined by what they do, and what they do is coach. So is he still a coach if he doesn’t have a team? Does the coach, the person, have purpose?

Well, if you’re Lawrence Frank, you do. Frank is thinking — hoping — that his current teamlessness is only temporary. From Dave D’Alessandro of the Star-Ledger:

After being fired on Nov. 28, he used all of December to reacquaint himself with his wife and daughters. Then he spent all of January and February on the road – essentially canvassing the quadrangle between Kansas, Dallas, Orlando and New England – visiting roughly a dozen college and NBA teams coached by men he considers close friends.

Nothing has changed in that regard: While others watch the game and players, Frank still focuses on the coaches — even those on a high school level – because that’s what lifers do.

“The thing I like most is watching how they run a practice,” Frank said. “Those are always the most relevant times to me. So I watch them and track their thoughts, how they approach the preparation, how they make adjustments, listen to their postgame evaluation, and how they deal with their teams the next day. That’s why I liked to have extended days, and all these guys gave me unbelievable access.
   
“But when you go around a team, you not only pick brains of coaches, but all different people – personnel people, training staff, everybody. That way, you’re able to gauge the core values of a staff and an organization. I find that very rewarding.”

This is as close as Frank can get to business as usual without minds to mold and practices to run. Coaching is his purpose, regardless of whether or not he has a team of his own. Frank deserves another shot at coaching an NBA team because regardless of the blatant cronyism that goes on throughout most of the league, there are still teams out there that value good work. Frank offers that, even if it didn’t quite manifest itself in the Nets’ horrid start this season.

It may come next season, or it may not. But Frank’s re-entry into the ring of NBA head coaches is only a matter of time.

Bulls claim PG Kay Felder off waivers

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The Bulls’ point-guard position is a quagmire.

Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne are both injured (and not necessarily good). Jerian Grant is maybe an adequate backup pressed into starting. Ryan Arcidiacono is on a two-way contract.

Enter Kay Felder.

Bulls release:

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone, and claimed guard Kay Felder off waivers.

Felder was waived by the Hawks, who acquired him in a salary-dump trade from the Cavaliers. Cleveland drafted Felder No. 54 last year, but ran out of roster spots this year.

Felder is only a moderate prospect. He impressed in the D-League, but at 5-foot-9, he has significant limitations. (His size also makes him incredibly fun to watch when he gets rolling.)

For Chicago, he’s a quite-noteworthy addition.

LeBron James: ‘I still got Pandora with commercials’

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Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.

LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.

LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:

No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.

LeBron – he’s just like us!

As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.