Winderman: Jordan not playing with OPM anymore

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NBA_jordan.jpgEven those not familiar with advance stats have been quick to notice how Michael Jordan has flourished over the years with OPM.

Now, with Wednesday’s ownership approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors, that figures to change.

Jordan’s success with other people’s money, be it Jerry Reinsdorf’s, Abe Pollin’s or even Bob Johnson’s, no longer is at play.

And the reality that he was able to get controlling interest in the Bobcats at a mere fraction of what Johnson paid for the expansion team in 2003 says this isn’t a franchise exactly flush in cash, but rather one hemorrhaging dollars.

So, what will it be from M.J.?

Jordan’s college roommate at North Carolina, current Appalachian State coach Buzz Peterson, offered one clue.

“I’m happy for him,” Peterson said. “I know it’s something he wanted.”

Yet even Peterson was quick to note that it only is a matter of time before Jordan limits his financial exposure.

“He won’t change, though,” Peterson mused. “Going through the McDonald’s line, he still won’t pay for it. That won’t change. He’s always tight.”

Jordan has been a minority investor, with complete oversight of basketball operations, since June 2006.

That’s when he was dealing mostly with OPM. But even then, he said he did not see a need for the franchise to operate in the luxury tax.

That could make coming months particularly intriguing, with the Bobcats already at roughly $60 million in committed salary for next season and the 2010-11 luxury tax anticipated by one general manager to fall in the $65 million range.

So will there be a competitive offer to Raymond Felton in free agency?

Will Tyrus Thomas, another impending free agent, prove little more than a short-term rental?

And what happens when Larry Brown expresses his unceasing affection for Larry Hughes in coming weeks, let alone for another free agent he positively must have this summer?

Creative management when it comes to the 2010-11 contracts of DeSagana Diop and Nazr Mohammed could allow for fiscally responsible growth.

But in a league where money means everything to one (Donald T. Sterling), not so much to some (Mark Cuban) and seemingly not very much to others (step on down Mikhail Prokhorov), it will be interesting to see how reformed Jordan grows with one particular metric now out of his operational means.

Suddenly, for M.J., OPM no longer factors into the equation.

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

Report: Age minimum still on table in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  The full draft board of the first 30 pics of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft is seen at the Barclays Center on June 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to be finished soon, but with months until the current deal expires, both the owners and players can afford to take their time and get the details right.

Both sides reportedly agreed to keep the age minimum – which requires players to be 19 and one year removed from their high school class’ graduation – in place.

Or not?

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Other issues, like the age limit for players entering the league, are still on the table. The league has long sought to increase the age limit from its current 19, and at least one year removed from one’s high school class, to at least 20 years of age. The union has talked about a “zero and two” setup, similar to that used by baseball — players can enter the Draft out of high school, but if they choose to go to college, they have to stay in college at least two years (in baseball, it’s three years) before declaring for the Draft.

The union wants to lower the age minimum. Adam Silver wants to raise it.

Most likely, the current one-and-done rule remains in place.

But a zero-or-two setup could be an interesting compromise. That would allow players certain they’re ready for the pros out of high school to declare for the NBA draft. In all other cases, Silver would get his wish.

Again, the status quo likely remains in tact. But it’s good both sides are discussing the issue to see whether there’s a better solution.

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)
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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.