Apr 28, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket while being defended by Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts (11) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Heat won 109-98. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

How LeBron James possibly leaving affects Josh McRoberts

Going into the NBA free agency period, one of the Charlotte Hornets primary goals was to re-sign veteran forward Josh McRoberts.

Well, that didn’t happen.

Josh McRoberts signed a 4 year, $23 million dollar contract with the Miami Heat.

There were mixed emotions from Charlotte Hornets fans when the news broke. Many were sad to see him go, but at the same time it might have been the best thing for the team, as it will allow rookie Noah Vonleh and second year player Cody Zeller more playing time. Right now the popular belief is that Cody Zeller will begin the season as the starting PF, but nothing is official yet.

One of the things that attracted Josh McRoberts to the Miami Heat was the possibility of playing alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Well, that looks a lot less likely as many were expecting, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have emerged as the front-runners to land LeBron, and Chris Bosh has been offered a max deal by the Houston Rockets. That leaves Dwyane Wade as the only Big 3 member on the roster, assuming he re-signs, but we all know he will. Wade will likely retire a member of the Miami Heat.

If LeBron James and Chris Bosh leave Miami, what does that mean for Josh McRoberts? Does he instantly wish he would’ve stayed in Charlotte?

Well, barring any late and unexpected changes, LeBron will be in a Cleveland Cavalier uniform next season, and Bosh will likely be a member of the Houston Rockets. With the both of them gone, it would give Josh McRoberts a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup, and will have the ball in his hands more.

Yes he will get the ball more, but no LeBron means no NBA Finals for the Heat next year. We have seen Miami in the NBA Finals 4 years in a row, so it will be strange to not see them even compete in the playoffs next year.

Let’s say LeBron and Bosh return, Miami will likely make it 5 years in a row, and McRoberts will have the opportunity to be part of a championship team, something he couldn’t have done with the Charlotte Hornets next year. Josh could be what Rashard Lewis brought to Miami in the NBA Playoffs/Finals this past season. He can space the floor with his 3-point shooting, creating more space for LeBron and company.

But, again the more likely scenario is that LeBron and Bosh leave. Josh McRoberts would still have an important role for the Heat, but nobody cares as much. He would be on a team that would be lucky to make the NBA playoffs next year, and even that might be a stretch. The potential starting lineup would be this:

PG- Norris Cole

SG – Dwyane Wade

SF – Danny Granger

PF – Josh McRoberts

C – Udonis Haslem

If this is your starting lineup, you can say hello to the NBA Draft lottery, except this year there is no Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.

So, in conclusion, if LeBron James leaves, it makes Josh McRoberts’ decision look a lot worse. He could have accepted an offer from Charlotte and been almost guaranteed to be on a Playoff team. He knew that it wasn’t official that LeBron and Bosh would return when he agreed to the contract, but to him the chance to play with LeBron James was too good of an opportunity to pass up. You cannot blame him for that, who wouldn’t want to play with LeBron James?

Josh McRoberts is a good player, but him signing with the Heat is probably the best thing that could have happened to the Charlotte Hornets. It allows them to develop Vonleh and Zeller, and use the money on a player that is more of a need.

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Tags: Charlotte Hornets Josh McRoberts LeBron James Miami Heat

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