Report: Philadelphia to make “lucrative” offer to native son Kyle Lowry this summer

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Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is a free agent this summer, and the speculation about his future has already started. There are questions about whether the Raptors want to keep this core together — as it starts to head into luxury tax range — only to end up banging their head against the LeBron James wall in the playoffs. There are rumors that maybe Lowry wants to bolt Toronto for a better team — he said in his exit interview “I just want a ring.”

Then there’s the buzz out of Philly that Lowry would come home to lead the Sixers.

Which is kind of the opposite of going for a ring in his prime, but Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it could happen.

Sources have said the North Philly native has been interested in playing for the Sixers for some time. The speculation only heightened once Bryan Colangelo became the president of basketball operations in April 2016. As the Raptors general manager, Colangelo acquired Lowry in a trade from the Houston Rockets on July 11, 2012. The two have remained good friends since then.

And sources have always said that the Sixers planned to offer Lowry a lucrative contract this summer.

Never say never around the NBA.

But this is as close to never as a Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy marriage.

Lowry says a ring is the only priority, but every player says that until they have to leave millions on the table to do it (well, almost every player, David West is the most notable exception). The Spurs could sure use Lowry, but unless Pau Gasol opts out or can be traded while taking almost no money back, and then the Spurs find a way to dump at least another $5 million, San Antonio can’t get near offering max money. In reality, Lowry likely would need to take more than $10 million a year less from the Spurs than the Raptors or any other team could offer. If Lowry were actually serious about a ring San Antonio would be the best fit, there is no other team in the East that could offer him a max deal and he would make them a contender.

If Lowry is going to be about the money, then he likely stays in Toronto — they can offer one more guaranteed year, the difference between $205 million guaranteed (over five years) vs. $158 million (over four years). Plus he’s comfortable there, GM Masai Ujiri said bringing Lowry back is a priority, and this team is good.

In the unlikely event Toronto tried to get Lowry to take a discount and pissed him off, then the Spurs decide they don’t want to get involved, all the Sixers would need to do is beat out a bunch of other suitors and convince Lowry to come home again… except not every player wants to do that. LeBron James did but he’s more the exception than the rule, most players see coming home as a series of added distractions and problems.

Maybe Lowry is an exception and is serious about potentially coming home. But that leads to one other question:

Why would Philly do this? I know they want some veteran leaders and quality players to start rounding out the young roster, but if you’ve been saying for a year that Ben Simmons as a point forward is the future of this franchise — and if nothing else, they have to try it out — then why bring in an established point guard to take the ball out of his hands? Lowry would be mentoring the next generation of Sixers and likely putting up numbers, but is that his goal at this point in his career?

Never say never, but I just do not see a return home for Lowry working out.

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.