Michael Jordan Michigans honorary captain for opener

March 9, 2017

Charlotte Hornets owner and basketball legend will serve as Michigan footballs honorary captain for the teams opening game against Hawaii, head coach Jim Harbaugh announced on the Rich Eisen Show on Friday.

The Wolverines signed a lucrative 11-year contract with Nike to play under the Jordan Brand earlier this year, and will debut their new uniforms in their first game Sept. 3 against Hawaii. Jordan himself will appear at Michigan Stadium.

Michigans deal with Nike is worth $127.12 million and can increase to $173.8 million with a four-year option included . The Wolverines are the first college football team to play under Jordan Brand. The schools basketball teams will also wear Jumpman uniforms .

Michigans Nike contract officially begins Aug. 1. Vucevic acknowledges the cap leap has created an awkward situation in which his presumed backup earns $5 million more than he does . “Do I wish I were a free agent now?” Vucevic asked. “Yes. But I can’t do anything about it. I’m happy guys are getting paid, and in the normal world, it’s still a lot of money. I mean, I’ll never spend all that money.”

Rob Hennigan, the team’s GM, called Vucevic shortly after the Biyombo signing to reassure him, but also declined to promise Vucevic he would remain the starter, the two men say. The Magic believe one unintended consequence of a full-on rebuild is young players walking into minutes without any competition, and then feeling entitled to those minutes going forward. The team wants everyone, including its cornerstones, to feel pressure.

“We have competition for minutes at every position,” Hennigan told ESPN.com, “which we view as conducive for growth.”

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Magic tried Vucevic off the bench at some point cheap nba uniforms 2016. The league has arrived at an interesting near-consensus that post-up brutes who struggle on defense work best as reserves. They don’t need studs to create shots, and first-line enemy offenses feast on them. It’s feasible that Al Jefferson, Greg Monroe, Jahlil Okafor, and Vucevic all spend time as reserves. Enes Kanter is already a backup, and the Grizzlies tried to coax Zach Randolph into that role last season. Some folks in Chicago privately wished they could convince Pau Gasol to live that bench life.

Vucevic’s shooting makes him a more adaptable player, and if the minutes-juggling upsets someone, the Magic should explore trades. They need another reliable wing to flank Fournier and Hezonja; with Jodie Meeks’ future unclear, they are one injury away from disaster. It’s hard right now to trade bigs for wings and receive equal value — one reason Sam Presti, the Thunder GM, was smart to flip Ibaka for Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

Shedding one big salary would also give Orlando wiggle room to upgrade in free agency over the next two summers. They will have cap space next July as long as Ibaka’s smallish cap hold is on the books, but things get tight — like, luxury tax-level tight — if they bring him back at the max, keep all their core guys, and sign one decent free agent.

The money crunch hits every team that spends a half-decade in the lottery. Great prospects get expensive once their rookie deals expire; you eventually have to shed someone. Utah is staring down this dilemma, and the Magic have already addressed it by dealing Harris, Harkless, and Oladipo — with the latter up for a mega-extension, and (for now) seeking the maximum salary, sources say.

Going from bad to good is hard without a top-15 player. The Magic have mostly drafted well, and trades involving Howard and Fournier — controversial at first — bore fruit with time. They were the first team hot on Kristaps Porzingis, a potential foundational star, and missed him by a single pick.

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