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Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell staying in 2017 NBA draft


Louisville sophomore Donovan Mitchell entered the NBA draft without an agent, allowing him to withdraw and maintain college eligibility.

But he’s now closing the door on a return to college basketball, hiring an agent.


Officially signed with @caa_basketball πŸ™πŸΎπŸ’―πŸ“ƒβœπŸΎοΈ#BeHumbleπŸ™πŸΎ

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Mitchell looks a mid-to-late first-round pick.

Athletic with a solid base, he should defend point guards well at the next level. But at 6-foot-3, can he regularly defend wings?

That’s a key question, because it’s questionable whether Mitchell can run point offensively. He mostly played off-the-ball at Louisville, showing playmaking ability good for a shooting guard but poor for a point guard.

Louisville asked Mitchell to be more of a scorer, and he had to create a lot of his own shots. He made a lot of tough ones, but because he generated too few easy ones – a skill in itself – his efficiency was low. NBA teams must determine whether Louisville’s system or his shot selection had more to do with Mitchell’s shooting percentages.

Mitchell clearest path to contributing in the NBA might be playing point guard defensively and shooting guard offensively – a combination that requires a specific backcourt partner, narrowing the pool of fitting teams. He strikes me as the type of prospect who could slip on draft night. Then again, tough-shot-making is a skill we’ve repeatedly seen teams fall for.

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 β€” and many of the NBA awards β€” feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award β€” 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 DantΓ© 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.