A relatively uneventful free agency period (discounting rumors and based on, y’know, actual news) got a little more exciting for the Miami Heat with an announcement this afternoon by ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter):
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
Just minutes later, Yahoo!Sports dropped another #WojBomb via Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent Danny Granger has agreed to a two-year, $4.2 million deal with the Miami Heat, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
McRoberts (or “McBob” as he is known to fans) played for the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) last season. Heat fans may remember him for this move in the first round playoff matchup with the Heat:
But don’t judge him by this alone. He’s got a “high motor,” and is an athletic finisher and a sharp passer. You can see some of his highlights here (via YouTube). As per Stein’s tweet, McRoberts is expected to be given Miami’s full mid-level exception.
As for Granger, the former All-Star was on his way up in the NBA until injuries derailed him for much of the last two seasons. Granger, also a former nemesis of LeBron James, was traded by the Indiana Pacers to Philadelphia before last season’s trade deadline, waived and then joined the L.A. Clippers for their postseason run.
But what do these signings mean for Miami’s further off-season plans? As rampant speculation regarding the return of James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade to Miami continues to swirl, here are some quick guesses (hey, at least I’m honest…no “sources” here) as to their potential impact:
- Both players are at points in their respective careers where they can be considered “role players.” They seem to represent upgrades to a weak Heat bench that had minimal impact during the NBA Finals
- McRoberts is primarily a play-maker/finisher. Both aspects were missing from the Heat; McBob could mean a transition to an unconventional starting unit without a point guard. He could also be a bench player that can help generate or activate offense
- Granger, if healthy, can be a solid pickup, especially at such a relatively-low cost. He was a solid scorer and defender before knee injuries slowed a promising career
- Both players are considered “high basketball-IQ” guys; again, an upgrade (see: Beasley, Michael)
Most telling of all, these agreements would indicate a larger overall plan to fill Miami’s empty roster with larger pieces than just McRoberts and Granger. The former’s contract, in particular, is telling. If Stein’s report is true that the former Duke player is getting the full MLE, it would only be available to Miami if their roster is “capped out.” One obvious scenario to reach that possibility is signing James/Bosh to near-max deals and bringing Wade back at the expected price tag of $10-12 million per season.
Of course, there is also a chance – however unlikely – that the Big 3 will be taking significant pay cuts to allow Riley to bring in better complementary players, like Pau Gasol or Marvin Williams as recent reports have suggested.
Again, no one knows exactly what today’s agreements represent. But in a summer characterized by a lot of noise, having some actual news was a welcome change of pace.
Stay tuned to AllUCanHeat.com for the latest news and updates.