Winderman: Mavs moves about next year, too

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butler2.jpgConsidering the way Josh Howard had fallen out of favor and how Drew Gooden has never been more than a flavor of the month at any of his NBA stops, an argument could be made that Dallas made its move for Caron Butler and Brandan Haywood with the present in mind.

Arguably, the Mavericks are stronger now that all parties have signed off on the deal that sends Howard, Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton to Washington for Butler, Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.

But working from the self-propagated perspective the Mark Cuban is a genius, this is a move that could be just as much about the future.

Committed to $83 million in payroll for 2010-11 before this deal, Dallas never was going to be part of the 2010 free-agent space race.

Instead, Dallas has added an additional chip it can put in play this coming summer, just in case Chris Bosh decides a homecoming wouldn’t be such a bad thing, after all.

Had Dallas attempted to work out a sign-and-trade with either Howard, assuming his team option would not have been picked up in advance, or Gooden, either could have said, ‘Toronto or Memphis? Nah, no deal.”

But now, should the Mavericks try to make a move for Bosh or, say, Rudy Gay, Butler is essentially held hostage on any sort of sign-and-trade, with another year left on his contract. If the Mavericks tell him he is going somewhere, with the additional year on his contract, he has to go.

And by gaining Haywood’s Bird Rights, it means Erik Dampier could be more in play than ever.

Plus, with Butler around, Shawn Marion could yet again find himself on the move, which seemingly has become an annual occurrence.

While the rest of the league seemingly is cashing out when it comes to issues such as the luxury tax, Cuban has upped the ante.

No, Dallas won’t have the cap space of a Miami, New Jersey or New York next summer.

But it will have a spot at the same table, with plenty of assets to put into play.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson floors Malcolm Brogdon with crossover (video)

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To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.

To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?