The Charlotte Bobcats weren’t exactly lightning rods at the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, failing to make any big moves. However, the one move that they made was to send Hakim Warrick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Josh McRoberts.
McRoberts played in 26 games for Charlotte, starting in 19 and seeing the floor for 30.8 minutes per game. In his brief time with the Bobcats, he averaged 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field. Considering his short career of unproductivity, McRoberts actually provided Charlotte with a spark at the end of the year.
McRobert becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason, though, so Charlotte has to make a decision on whether or not they want to pursue the power forward in an attempt to re-sign him.
One of the biggest pluses about McRoberts for the Bobcats was how he performed in the pick-and-roll as the screener. On the season, the Bobcats heavily favored letting the ball-handler create out of the pick-and-roll, but that was largely because their frontcourt is full of players who aren’t offensively sound. McRoberts changed that a little bit.
In his brief tenure in Charlotte, 14.1 percent of McRoberts’ offense was out of the pick-and-roll. When in that set, McRoberts was actually quite productive, averaging 1.06 points per possession, which would have been the 43rd-highest rate in the league had it been over the entire season.
Another positive regarding McRoberts is the fact that he was solid on the glass. When on the floor, McRoberts grabbed 14.1 percent of the rebounds, the third-best rate on Charlotte. He was especially good on the defensive glass and wasn’t terrible in terms of offensive rebounding either.
However, there are several things that detract from McRoberts’ value on the Bobcats, the first of which is the fact that he’s a sub-par defender. It’s hard to judge a player’s individual defense on a bad defensive team, but there were some real issues with McRoberts. One thing is that he’s not a great rim protector. He also really struggles with physical power forwards who can out-muscle him on the block.
Another problem with McRoberts is the fact that he’s 26 years old and doesn’t really have that much upside as a player. Though he’s athletic and does a few things well, it’s hard to imagine his ceiling being much higher than the nine points and seven rebounds he gave the Bobcats this year.
When it comes down to it, the lack of upside with McRoberts makes him an unattractive option for the Bobcats to re-sign this summer. Charlotte is a team with a paltry frontcourt, but they also have guys with talent that are younger than McRoberts and still developing.
With the Bobcats in the beginning stages of an extensive rebuild, keeping a guy like McRoberts really doesn’t make too much sense. He gave them a nice spark at the end of last season, but that’s where his contributions should end in Charlotte.