Josh McRoberts agreed to a 4-year, $23 million deal with the Miami Heat, likely using their entire MLE. Yahoo Sports reported that both McRoberts and Danny Granger agreed to deals under the impression that LeBron James would be their teammate. That is still to be determined.
But after a week, these two players emerged as Riley's additions to the roster as it tries to lure its stars back to Miami. And after some of the deals we have seen players take, including a 4-year, $32 million deal for Channing Frye, it seems the Heat got Josh for the asking price, as he turned down an identical deal from the Charlotte Hornets, where he played the previous two seasons.
In fact, the Heat are getting a 6'10 forward who played and started in 78 games last year for the Bobcats, where he averaged 8.5 PPG and 4.8 RPG. As the Hornets drafted Indiana University forward Noah Vonleh, McRoberts may have started to lose rotation time, or he just would like to compete for a championship.
It's unclear where McRoberts fits into the rotation, mostly because we don't know who will be on the Heat next season. But let's assume the Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron all return. With the roster spots of Shabazz Napier and Norris Cole secured, as well as Danny Granger, it seems as though the Heat would also bring back Udonis Haslem, James Jones and Ray Allen. That's ten players right there, with room for another five -- we haven't heard much about Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, Chris Andersen, Rashard Lewis or Toney Douglas, and it all seems likely Mario Chalmers is on his way out.
McRoberts could very well find himself as a starter in Miami. Bosh has found himself as the center in a Heat uniform, and McRoberts could give the extra bulk up front that helps Bosh stay on the perimeter. McRoberts is also decent floor spacer. He shot 36% from deep last season.
He's one of the more gifted ball handlers for a player his size. If you watched him much when he was playing at Duke you saw that, as he had a bit more freedom, but he's still capable of doing something special. But probably what's most important about McRoberts and the Heat is his basketball IQ and his passing skills. He isn't outstanding, but he is a great teammate. He makes the right play, and is a smart player. Josh averaged 4.3 APG as a power forward last year.
McRoberts could also find himself being the 6/7 man, as he plays a very similar game to Chris Bosh. Both of them are left handed big guys who like the play pick and pop, and like to pass from the top of the key. McRoberts can read a defense pretty well. He isn't as good as a shooter as Bosh, but he can put the ball on the floor better than him. Bosh certainly has the edge when it comes to defense. Either way, McRoberts will find himself useful in the Heat rotation, as he should making about $5.7 million/year.
Listen, we can't overreact to the addition of Josh McRoberts. He's a good asset to the team, even if it is a little pricey. But he won't be winning or losing games. The Heat simply needed some role players who could contribute more on a regular basis. Last year, they had times where it was Haslem, then Lewis, and some Beasley, but they were not consistent. McRoberts, at 27 years old, could provide that. He doesn't have much playoff experience, especially deep in the playoffs, but he is durable. He's played a total of 15 playoff games in his 7 year career.
Here's some highlights from McRoberts' best game last season. You will see his ability to connect from deep, although not as fluid, and his ability to pass and drive the ball.
Make sure you tell us what you think about McRoberts and how he fits into the Heat culture.