The Miami Heat made their first splash in free agency on Monday afternoon when they agreed to a four-year, $23 million contract with F/C Josh McRoberts. Miami was believed to be in a battle with the Charlotte Hornets, whom McRoberts last played for, to acquire his services.
McRoberts is a great fit the Miami Heat for a variety of reasons. It was clear the team needed some younger/fresher legs since the same core went to the NBA finals in four straight seasons. The free agency approach from 2010-2013 was to sign veterans near the end of their career. The team was desperately seeking some youth and McRoberts (age 26 and just entering his prime) fits the bill.
It is crucial to have a roster full of versatile players given the way that the NBA is structured today. At 6’10 and 240 pounds, McRoberts is essentially a versatile big man who can play on the perimeter. He has the ability to shoot the three but can also take it to the rim and throw it down in the paint (ask Chris “Birdman” Andersen during the 2014 NBA Playoffs). Arguably, his most intriguing skill is his ability to pass the ball. As we saw from the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA Finals, having a big that can not only space the floor and play multiple positions but also be an excellent passer (Boris Diaw) can change the whole dynamic of a team’s offense.
McRoberts is not a franchise player but if and when the Big Three of James, Wade, and Bosh return to the Heat, he is the perfect complementary piece to help strengthen the unit as a whole. The Heat were exposed in the Finals against the Spurs because they had too many guys who were basically mirror images of one another (older, slower, one-dimensional players). There are not many players around the league who can do the types of things McRoberts can do at his size and market value so all in all, this was a great pickup for the Miami Heat.