Schortsanitis may finally play for the Clippers

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24-year old international prospect Sofoklis Schortsanitis, whom the Los Angeles Clippers drafted with the 34th pick of the 2003 Draft, may actually play basketball for the Clippers next season. 
ClipperBlog has a synopsis of the report from sportnet.gr
“Big Sofo will be travelling to Los Angeles to meet with the administration of the LA Clippers. The Clippers own his rights in the NBA, selected in the 2nd round (34th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft. Schortsanitis already has tickers to L.A. and the Clippers notified Olympiakos of their invitation to the player. 
It wasn’t necessary though because Schortsanitis will be a free agent at the end of this month when his contract ends. The article says that the Clippers are not going to use him in the Las Vegas Summer League team unless he signs with them first. Another source says that they are already planning to show him some houses where he can stay in LA.”

D.J. Foster of ClipperBlog had some thoughts about what this report means for the Clipper organization:

It seemed like it would never happen, but it appears Sofo may finally end up in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform after seven years of playing over seas. The timing looks right — the Clippers have only five players on contract and need bodies to fill out the roster. Sofo turns 25 in a few days and is in the best shape of his life and is playing the best basketball of his career.  If there were ever a time for him to test the NBA waters and see if he can hack it, it’s now.

“Baby Shaq” has obviously been on the radar screens of NBA scouts for quite some time now, but it looked like Sofo’s weight problems and the fact he was content to play in Greece would keep him from ever playing in the same league as the original Shaq. Now Sofo is at a svelte 315 pounds, is coming off a Greek league championship run, and may finally be ready to test his skills against the (metaphorical) big boys. And for those of you keeping score at home, there is a very good chance that the 2nd overall pick of the 2003 Draft will be out of the league before the 34th overall draft enters it. 

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.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”