Derrick Rose will see a specialist Monday for back spasms he’s had for weeks. Wait, what?

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Derrick Rose missed Sunday’s game against the Bulls with back spasms he’s been dealing with. But the bigger concern may be why they haven’t gone away. So Rose will be seeing a specialist on Monday, he told reporters before Chicago’s game against Boston. Via CSN Chicago:

Rose will see a specialist Monday when the Bulls return to Chicago, but wouldn’t speculate on whether he’d play in the team’s next game, Tuesday against Sacramento at the United Center.

“Probably go see some people tomorrow, have them look at it. But I don’t know yet,” he said. “I can’t say I’m going to be out. If I feel good tomorrow, I’m definitely going to play then, but I don’t know yet.”

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who started C.J. Watson in Rose’s place, indicated that the organization would be cautious with Rose.

“It’s not cleared up as much as we would like right now. He still has a little bit of stiffness, so we decided it’s better to sit him out of this one,” he said. “Once we get back home, we’ll have a chance to go see a specialist and we’ll go from there.

“Well, you’re always concerned. It’s something that he’s had before. He had it when he was in high school, so we’re hopeful it gets cleared up shortly, but we want to make sure.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

So that’s not good. Rose is pivotal to the Bulls’ chances, but at least they’re invested in getting him right for the playoffs. The rest of the team is good enough behind Tom Thibodeau’s defense to sustain without Rose, and having him healthy for the playoffs needs to be the priority. So this is a good move.

But where was it a few weeks ago when Rose was dealing with various injuries including an ankle issue? Here was a particularly interesting quote from CSN Chicago:

“It was the whole trip, but I just played through it. The more I played through it, it tended to get worse after every game. At the time, I was really worried about it, but just tried to stay positive and hopefully I’ll be all right.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

Am I the only who, if my MVP was having the sniffles, if he had any hitch in his giddy-up, if he had Carpal Tunnel, I would keep him out as long as I had a top five seed in the East? This is a season about survival. It got worse every game… and yet he’s playing. And not just playing, playing heavy minutes.

There’s trusting your player, and there’s doing what’s best for your team. Rose needs to go down for a long stretch of time to get completely healthy. The Bulls are gambling with chips they’re going to need in three months.

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.