The Dallas Mavericks look set to acquire Josh McRoberts from the Miami Heat in a trade for second-year center A.J. Hammons, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. Mavs PR today confirmed the deal.
Heat plan to send McRoberts and a future second round pick to Dallas for A.J. Hammons, league sources tell The Vertical. https://t.co/OJY3sDiB4q— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 7, 2017
The Mavs will also be receiving a second round pick in 2023 and everyone’s favorite player, cash considerations, in the deal.
A lot of you out in the Twitterverse don’t seem thrilled with this deal. I can sympathize with you. McRoberts has notably been a shell of his former self since joining the Heat three seasons ago. In that time he has struggled with injuries and appeared in just 81 total games. His averages of 4.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and two assists also don’t look great. I get that. Making matters even less ideal, Miami doesn’t have a second-round pick until 2022. Woof. But you know what? I don’t care.
McRoberts is one of my guys. I rarely go into the visiting locker room at the American Airlines Center so I’ve never spoken with him but that doesn’t mean he can’t be one of my guys. I fell in love with his game, and his hair, in his days with the Charlotte Bobcats. It was there where he essentially ran the offense from the top of the key with good court vision, precision passing and a wet jumper.
In his final year with the Bobcats, he averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. He did this while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from deep in 30 minutes per game. I was so impressed with his ability to space the floor that I wrote at the time that the Mavs should bring him in as Dirk Nowitzki’s backup. It’s a fantastic piece of writing, if I do say say so.
Now, McRoberts will be joining the Mavericks, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s set to make just over $6 million next season, but he’s on an expiring contract. Can’t say that about Dwight Powell’s current contract. Powell still has three seasons and almost $30 million left on his. Heck, we might as well compare the two since they will likely be competing for playing time.
First, let’s get this out of the way. Powell was much healthier than McRoberts was last season. Powell appeared in 77 contests compared to just 22 for McRoberts. Advantage Powell, obviously. Further, Powell proved himself to be a near elite player as the roll man in pick and roll situations. I’m not sure that anyone saw that development coming. McRoberts doesn’t really do that, though he can put the ball on the ground and get inside.
What he does do, however, is shoot the ball at a high percentage from the outside. Last season, in that small sample size, McRoberts connected on 41.9 percent of his 3-point attempts. For his career, he shoots 34.1 percent from behind the arc. Powell, on the other hand, well... Let’s just say you don’t want him taking threes. Both players bring something dramatically different to the table, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I have to be honest in saying that McRoberts returning to his 2013-14 form is unlikely. That’s not to say that, if healthy, he can’t be the Mavericks next miracle reclamation project. Stranger things have happened.
It is sad to see Hammons go just before Summer League is set to begin. He could have been a factor on a team that can potentially take the title in Las Vegas. But, moving him does get his guaranteed money off the books for the next two seasons. It’s not much, but they must have not seen a lot of improvement by him in all the time he spent in the D-League.
Nonetheless, McRoberts is a Mav, and I’m happy about it. This is the day McBob has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.