Updates from Monday, July 7
Marc Stein of ESPN reported on Josh McRoberts' next destination:
ESPN learned that Josh McRoberts has verbally committed to sign with the Miami Heat— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2014
ESPN has learned that McRoberts will receive Heat's full midlevel for the next four years ($23 million) with a player option after Year 3— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2014
The Miami Heat may be one step closer to locking up one of their offseason targets.
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Josh McRoberts is becoming a "serious free-agent candidate" for the Eastern Conference champions:
Charlotte's Josh McRoberts emerging as serious free agent candidate for Miami, sources tell Yahoo. Realistic option at mid-level exception.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
Charlotte's increased offer to McRoberts in past 24 hours, pushing to mid-level exception, sources tell Yahoo. Steve Clifford values him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
The 27-year-old is coming off a season in which he averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the then-Charlotte Bobcats. Despite those somewhat unimpressive numbers and the fact that he had offseason surgery to remove bone spurs, McRoberts has become a hot commodity in the offseason:
Injury Update: @bobcats Josh McRoberts underwent successful surgery today to remove bone spurs from his left great toe.— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) May 1, 2014
Hornets general manager Rich Cho spoke about his desire to bring the power forward back to Charlotte after he opted out of his current deal, per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com:
"He was a big part of our team and we definitely want to re-sign him," said Cho. "He helped Kemba (Walker) and he helped Big Al (Jefferson). He's such a great passer. He's a connector to the team. And he's a great teammate also. So we're hoping we sign him."
That sentiment was reiterated by a source to Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling:
While Josh McRoberts is on the Heat's radar, I'm told by a source close to the Hornets that "it's still a priority for them to re-sign him."— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 7, 2014
ESPN.com's Marc Stein posited that the Charlotte Hornets might be the best fit for McRoberts since he has already earned himself a spot in the rotation:
Tough call for McRoberts. Miami is (still) Miami ... but in Charlotte he has defined role & coach in Steve Clifford who gets best out of him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 7, 2014
Robert Silverman of The Daily Beast countered that McRoberts' path to the court might have gotten a bit too crowded after the addition of Noah Vonleh:
@ESPNSteinLine Have to think McBob's worried about PT in Charlotte. Between Vonleh, Zeller and Big Al, he's going to lose mins.— Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta) July 7, 2014
If he doesn't want to sign with either Miami or Charlotte, he might have a potential suitor in the Portland Trail Blazers. Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported that the Blazers are looking to add the forward and that the interest is mutual between the team and the player.
Most fans will disregard the McRoberts sweepstakes, but where he signs could have a massive impact on the NBA landscape if it is a factor in where LeBron James plays next year. The Heat are aggressively working to try to surround LeBron with a better supporting case, and if they nab McRoberts, then they will have in part accomplished that goal.
This will be one of the periphery storylines to follow throughout the NBA offseason.