Lakers Sign Josh McRoberts

Phillip Barnett —  December 14, 2011

Yesterday, Darius wrote about the Gerald Green signing. Later that day, the Lakers signed another big, Josh McRoberts, who isn’t necessarily the big signing some have been pining for from the front office. With Dwight Howard and Chris Paul both still being talked about as possible future Lakers, it may hard to come to grips with the Lakers using their mini mid-level exception as a positive, but signing McRoberts was a good, not great, move for the Forum Blue and Gold.

Last season, the Lakers struggled with front-court depth. The Bynum/Gasol/Odom triumvirate was amongst the league’s best, but finding any kind of production outside of those three was hard to come by. Now with LO off to Dallas, depth up front moved to the top of the Lakers needs moving forward as the beginning of the season approaches. While McRoberts will be able to come off the bench as a capable body for 15-20 minutes per game, any hopes McRoberts replacing Odom’s production from last season would be futile. Jared Wade from 8 Points 9 Seconds explains why:

Josh McRoberts is a decent if unreliable contributor. He is athletic and versatile but doesn’t do anything at a high-level. He is very good, for someone 6’10, at finding the open man and he can handle the ball — occasionally even taking off with it after a rebound — but he isn’t exactly a threat to blow by defenders to get to the rim in the half court. He enjoys shooting long twos but shouldn’t, as his jumper is erratic and he is better serving by hanging around the basket looking for put-back dunks. 

That is where you want him taking most of his attempts: at the hoop. His one-thunder-dunk-per-20-minutes average should replace the void left by Shannon Brown, and he is adept at losing his defender and making a baseline cut to catch a lob in the half court. Guys like Kobe and Pau (and Chris Paul … whoops) should be able to exploit this more than the lackluster playmakers on the Pacers. On the break, he is even better, filling the lanes well and being a guy you can throw an alley-oop to or someone you can give the ball a little earlier and count on to either finish on his own or make the right pass to a trailer.

Defensively, he is neutral. He won’t detract considerably (although I’m sure Mr. Bryant will have words for him after he blows some assignments) and he won’t make up for anyone else’s mistakes. He is imperfectly adequate. His biggest deficiency at this point is not effort and certainly not athleticism (although he’s better vertically than laterally). It’s the fact that he’s a guy who will be 25 soon and still doesn’t have much consistent NBA experience under his belt. 

We’ll likely get a good look at McRoberts through the first five games of the season as Andrew Bynum will be out serving his suspension, forcing Gasol into the center spot — barring any future trades, that is. McRoberts should be a nice high-energy guy coming off the bench who can grab a few rebounds and clean up a few misses of the rim. He also has some big play ability due to his athleticism and passes well (same number of assists per 36 as Lamar Odom last season). I think McRoberts has the potential to become a fan favorite if expectations are held low. Suffice to say, the McBob signing doesn’t nearly solve all of the Lakers problems, this team still has a bit of work to do.

Phillip Barnett

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60 responses to Lakers Sign Josh McRoberts

  1. I have to say… All the signings lead me to believe we feel we have a great shot at having CP3 running the point this season. From Green, to McRoberts, to already having Ebanks on the team to the knowledge we are going after Dwight Howard… It sure looks like we are putting together long athletes to run the floor with Chris Paul. These are not the type of players you bring in with Derek Fisher leading the break.

  2. Obvious differences in their game but….Turiaf-(ish) effort and impact?

  3. We’re going to let the Sasha TPE expire aren’t we?

    I don’t even know why anyone thought the Fox deal would make a difference other than taking away the Lakers from people who can’t afford cable

  4. ESPN and Y! reporting that Orlando is through taking calls on Howard. He’s off the market for now.

  5. 4)
    I have said this too many times recently… But if you believe that I have some land in Florida to sell you.

  6. @ Aaron

    Note that I said ‘for now.’

  7. So, knowing very little about McBobs – is he another Mihm?

  8. 6)
    What I’m saying is that right now at this very moment Dwight Howard is not off the market and everyone knows it.

    7)
    They are both white and tall. Besides that they couldn’t be more different. Mihm was a solid starting Center. McRoberts is a athletic solid back up PF.

  9. I hope Mitch will take a part of the Vujacic TPE and trade it to Chicago for Keith Bogans! Great Back-Up 2 with Playoff-Experience and a great attitude.

  10. Welcome to the team McBobs.

    Although I’m high on him as a role player, I wouldn’t describe him as ‘athletic’. Serge Ibaka is an athletic 4. Josh McRoberts jumps well for a 6’9″ (without shoes) white guy. His speed and quickness are average at best. Having said that, his game should mesh well with our roster. Solid addition.

  11. Aaron,

    Orlando re-signed his buddy JRich and added another D12 buddy, Big Baby Davis. The ASG is there this year, and they have a new building. It makes sense they want to have him there for the first part of the year.

    Probably Howard will get moved either prior to the ASG or at the deadline, but predictions about all these things are dicey–as Lakers fans have been learning, the hard way.

  12. McRoberts is about the best they could do after giving Odom away; the move is a solid one.

    They still need a backup 5 and another guard.

  13. 11)
    Your comment was that Dwight Howard was taken off the market. I’m saying that most likley is not true. Do you really think all of the sudden the Magic are not negotiating trades as we speak?

  14. I really like this signing. Short term, minimum money, and a definitely serviceable, athletic big. Not an Odom by any means, but does take the sting out of losing him a little bit.

    The annoying thing is that if we’d just signed McRoberts and gotten ourselves a serviceable PG, I’d have been happy going into the season with just that.

    Still, not hard to see what Mitch was thinking. Give up Odom and Gasol to get Paul, sign McRoberts to shore up the front line, and then see what you can get for the Sasha TE.

  15. I think the only certain thing is that Dwight is not going to be a Laker on Christmas day. However, this does not preclude a trade down the road. I’ve always said, if I’m Orlando, I want to see if Bynum can deliver (he has to now b/c no more Odom means he’ll be playing 30+ minutes for the first time in his career) before trading him. If Bynum beasts, good for everyone, b/c we may just keep him after all.

    The worrisome thing is what we are going to do with Odom’s TPE b/c Sasha’s TPE is about to expire. Can we not try to upgrade with the TPE in the hopes of getting Dwight around the trade deadline?

    As to Mr. McRoberts, solid pick up for price. I’m a Tar Heel fan, so it pains me to compliment a Dookie. But I like his above the rim game, and he has always hustled. I haven’t heard a peep about our rookies and how they’re doing in practice. Anyone? They will need to step up to fill a lot of voids if the team stands pat.

  16. @aaron – :-) From the youtube highlights I saw – I kind of agree with Igor. And I always thought of Mihm more as a solid back up than solid starter.

    Does he only play the 4, or can he log a few minutes at the 5?

  17. Using our trade exceptions and not letting them expire – assumes that we want the extra players and salary.

    If – on the other hand we are in salary reduction and tax avoidance mode, then we let them expire.

    This would have all made sense if could cover Hedu’s salary, but we can’t.

    I love #12 robinred “after giving Odom away” the question is why would we essentially trade Odom for Josh McRoberts? It sounds to funny to be true.

  18. Do you really think all of the sudden the Magic are not negotiating trades as we speak?

    _______________

    That is what they released to the media–not taking calls on Howard. You are free to think they are lying and are talking to Mitch right now.

  19. Baron Davis has a bulging disc. So no thanks, those tend to linger.

    Rip Hamilton to the Bulls. Good fit there; even if he’s aged he’s still better than Keith Bogans.

    The Mavericks know they’re not repeating, so they wanted to make it count – word is they wanted championship rings worth $200,000:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/14/mavs-players-ask-for-championship-rings-even-cuban-thinks-are-too-pricy/

  20. As I stated previously, I love the acquisition of Josh ‘McBob’. As everyone knows, he’s definitely not on the same level/scale as LO if we’re talking about skill-set, but imo, he’s exactly what this Lakers team needs:

    1. Size
    2. Youth
    3. Energy
    4. Athleticism

    The question now is, as robinred @ 12 alluded to, who’s out there @ the 5 that we can pick up for the minimum?

  21. Point Guard, Point Guard, Point Guard.

    Number one position of need IMO.

    We’ve got two very good bigs and one that is, IMO, above average.

    We’ve got one of the best shooting guards in the game and an absolute plethora of serviceable small forwards.

    And then we have perhaps the worst point guards in the entire league.

  22. we have to get fesenko from the jazz, right? he got into it with kobe last year.

    it’s a tradition.

  23. 16)
    Chris Mihm before he got injured was a legitimate starting Center his whole career. McRoberts in his four years has not had those kind of responsibilities nor has he had that kind of production. Could he play Center in a pinch? Yes. Could he play it well for ten minutes a game? No. He is poor mans Kenyon Martin. He can scrap and do the little things as a PF and play well off the ball.

    18)
    Every time a superstar is being traded the superstars current team tries to create the illusion the superstar might not leave to improve leverage and make it even possible for that player to be delt. Even the NBA now has been leaking CP3 will stay with the Hornets to improve their ability to sell the franchise. Are they all lying? Yes. It’s called negotiating. And even if it only puts a “slight” doubt in your mind that Howard won’t be delt then the Magic have gained exactly that same “slight” leverage. Worse case scenario for the Magic is no GMs beleive it and they don’t gain added leverage.

  24. Aaron is most likely semi-right. Orlando front office said the talks are off. Why? Because they already know that Lakers’ offer of Drew + picks trumps their other choices. What they’re doing now is waiting to see if Drew is truly healthy. D12 is a Laker by trade deadline, imo.

  25. Athleticism is what we lacked, so we get it. We have enough finesse on our roster as is, no need to duplicate that skill set…

    … and speaking of skill sets, now that we’re done with the triangle, we don’t need our guys to be as skilled and as multi-talented as Lamar was. I think deep down Buss yearned to go back to the Showtime days when it was really a running circus, as opposed to the more cerebral and earthbound game that the triangle generally lends to.

    Unfortunately this means that some of the players we paid a premium for have become more or less overpriced, so we probably had to take advantage of opportunities to unload them when we could.

    Not saying Odom is not a great talent that would thrive in any system, but he probably wasn’t worth the 19 mil or so that we had to pay including taxes…

  26. The Clippers just got Chris Paul for a good pic and a good shooting guard. League got what it wants. They gave Paul away for cheap players.

  27. CP3 to Clips. Their deal was better than ours. But I still disagree with the League intervention in the first place.

  28. Well, since Chris Paul is going to the Clippers, we know his knee is going to give out. So there’s that. Cold comfort.

    Aside from that, I think Dwight is back on the trading block shortly after the fifth game of the season. No reason why I think so. None at all.

  29. As an Angelino, I’m happy CP3 is here. As a Lakers fan, I’m bummed he’s playing for the wrong LA team.

    Is this what Stern wanted all along? Give the league another uber-entertaining team in the second-largest market? CP3-to-Griffin pick’n’roll is this decade’s Stockton-to-Malone.

  30. wow, chris paul to the clippers. i believe they’re a top 4 team out west.

  31. chris kaman is going to be flipped for expiring contracts and draft picks, too, i predict. a very good haul for the rebuilding hornets.

  32. This season is going to be hard on the eyes.

    Well, I hate to see CP3 next door, but I’m not worried – unless he signs an extension. Funny thing is, I really thought that CP3 was going to walk away from any team this year (Lakers included) so he can join up with his buddies in NYC. What better way to stick it to David Stern than to go do exactly what he does not want you to do? Personally, I hope D Wills does not sign an extension with the Nets. I think/hope we will target him in the off-season if things go as planned.

    In terms of “big” moves, I don’t think we can predict what the hell Mitch was talking about. At best, he means a Howard for Bynum swap, but given that the All Star game is in Orlando I suspect the Magic will stand pat with any trades until after then. This gives them time to try and talk him out of leaving or see if the players previously dangled in trade talks are performing well (i.e. Bynum) Plus, it they trade Howard, who would be an all-star on that team?

  33. Well, this stinks.

    Now Stern can justify his veto.

    Argh.

  34. Mo Williams must be incredibly bummed now.

  35. Wow clips now have 3 point guards that we would covet. Chris Paul, Billups, and the forget man in all this is Mo Williams.

    Mo Williams does fit in our Trade Exception…..just saying…..

  36. CP3 alley oop to Griffin…on Bynum’s back.

    I believe we’ll have to wait until the ASG to have Howard, if will ever happen…

  37. the bidding war over kaman is going to be ridiculous.

    do you guys think that bulging disk in baron’s back is legit?

  38. Also, very thankful for the fact that the Clips had to give up Gordon. Paul + Griffin/Jordan is likely a middle playoff seed already, considering who Paul played with last year. Billups should probably start at the 2, but it’ll be interesting to watch him play off the ball.

    Vinny del Negro got lucky again. Now he can try to distract opposing players shooting free throws without having to worry about X’s and O’s or actually coaching his team.

    Bad news: Stern will escape from this again. Basketball fans will be so delighted to see Paul-Griffin alley-oops that Stern and Gilbert’s roles will be quickly forgotten (except in Laker Nation).

  39. “do you guys think that bulging disk in baron’s back is legit?”

    I think Dan Gilbert legitimately injured Baron Davis so the Lakers couldn’t find some way to pick him up. #Basketball reasons

  40. As a Lakers fan, I’m happy that this trade took place. Didn’t want to relinquish Pau in order to get back CP3. Also never believed the ‘Reports’ that we were back in the mix for Paul. Especially after being blatantly disrespected by Stern once we made the initial trade. I figured we pulled out the 2nd time when it became quite obvious that, in order for us to acquire Paul, Stern was going to make sure that we would be left with no viable assets to pull off a trade for DH12. Basically stating, ‘I see your plan and I’ll be damned if I allow you guys to pull it off.’ … Now Mitch & ‘Young’ Buss can direct their full attention to improving this current roster (back- ups for the 5 & 2) and when it’s all said & done, I still believe (like others have stated) that we’ll end up with DH12 before the Trade Deadline … Just make sure that it’s not @ the expense of Drew and Pau.

  41. CP3 to clips- they just played right into stern’s hands when they held all the leverage in the world. i don’t know what irks me more- that lakers lost out on CP3 or that stern ended up being right.

    i think the elephant in the room is that the lakers are going to outside the top 3 in the west this year.

    bynum:
    a) is going to be healthy, ORL likes what they see, pulls the trigger post-ASG, in which case it will be very tough to integrate new pieces in an already shortened season- deep run perhaps.
    b) will get hurt and then lakers are really hurting.
    c) plays lights out, along with gasol and bryant, as lakers catch a heater. seems the least likely outcome. sigh.

  42. well, i don’t know about the rest of you, but i am already through all five stages of grief, and ready to enjoy the season.

  43. Sad to see Chris go to the other team residing in Hollyweird, but happy for this drama to be over with. Now the FO can concentrate on securing a point guard and a serviceable big.

    Please folks dont hate on Mitch for the one that got away, all ill will should be focused on Dr. Evil aka Mr. Stern. With Kobe, Pau, and Bynum this team is still a title contender.

  44. troy murphy working out at the Lakers facility, per dave mcmenamin.

  45. Ugh. Murphy was awful in the little run he got last year with the Celtics. I hope Mitch is just bored.

  46. the Paul saga is a huge bummer to the Lakers. That was the first domino in what was clearly a master plan by Kupchak to get Paul and Howard. Ahhh, what could have been… Sad to see Odom gone as a result, but I get the feeling Mitch knows that Orlando would rather have picks & cap relief than Odom in a trade involving DH12.

    And on the brighter side of things as they are… Mike Brown has done wonderful work on the defensive side of the ball with much lesser big men than Bynum/Pau/Artest/McBob. Excited to see what we can do on that end, even with Odom gone.

  47. Baron Davis just got amnestied by the Cavs. With Chris Paul out of the picture, why not have the Lakers use their trade exception to sign him? Of course, Baron Davis isn’t the player he once was but he’s still way better than the Fish/Blake combo, plus the fact that Davis has always expressed interest in playing for the Lakers. At the very least, he could be a stop-gap PG for this year until the Lakers can sign get a far better PG.

  48. Mc Bob is OK,but I hope he used the off season to really work hard on his strength and shot. With his athleticism, he should be a much better producer than he`s shown so far. Maybe Brown and Kobe can light his fire. With Caracter down, need another PF-C on the bench.

  49. @ 47,

    1. You can’t sign players with your trade exception, you can only trade for them.

    2. Baron Davis must first pass through waivers of all teams under the cap. If no team bids on him only then does he become a free agent and is free to sign with whomever he chooses.

    3. He’d help certainly, but also has a bulging disk in his back and has been out of shape a great deal in his career….still he’d probably be the best point on the roster.

  50. Sorry @ 48,

    here’s the quote

    SpearsNBAYahoo Marc J. Spears
    by EricPincus
    Baron Davis’ agent Todd Ramasar tells Y! Sports his client has a serious herniated disk injury and will be out 8-10 weeks minimum

  51. Why are so many Lakers fans enamored with Mo Williams? He’ll turn 29 before the season starts and he has never played any defense. Just because he gets semi-hot once every five games doesn’t make him a good investment at 8.5 mil/year.

  52. @ 52

    Because he is better than Steve Blake and Derek Fisher and is younger than either of them, and because he can run the point and could play off the ball with Kobe.

    With Gordon in the Paul deal, Williams will stay with LAC IMO.

    The Paul and Howard situations are not Buss’ fault. The Odom situation is not entirely Buss’ fault–but some of it is. He made the call to trade Odom to Dallas.

    Buss needs to turn that deal into a +.

  53. Re the one new fellow, the other words from our man in Indy:

    “Offensively, he’s very limited. Basically, his scoring moves consist of fastbreak dunk, alley oop dunk, garbage bucket, and the occasional set shot three-pointer. He has no post game, to speak of, and should generally be considered to be the fourth or fifth option of any fivesome.
    ***
    He could develop into a good defensive rebounder, but he isn’t one right now.”

    So, no post moves and he’s not a good defensive rebounder. Just what I was looking for in a PF. And, yeah, he’s better than nobody, but having a pulse doesn’t mean he’s a good player.

    Re securing other humans with a pulse, all that’s left is trade, to include taking some other team’s salary dump, and vet minimum. That’s all that’s left. So it doesn’t look promising. I suspect another human with a pulse at C and then they’ll be “good” to go.

    Lastly, and by the way, I’m not counting on Howard. I don’t think that the Lakers are either. I say that because they could have used the mini-mid-level on a backup C, kept Lamar, and amnestied Walton or MWP. Wouldn’t have saved as much as salary dumping Lamar (which is what they did), but they’d have a rather better team to compete over the course of a condensed season that will see 12 in 18 to start and 6 in 11 to finish and much the same in the middle there. And then if they want to dump yet more salary, they could have bought Lamar ought for under 3 mil at season’s end. So what are they saving the amnesty for? Recall that although the CBA can run through 2022, the CBA has an opt out provision for 2017, and since neither side is happy with the CBA one or the other will opt out in 2017. So there’s a five year window, meaning that one cannot assume that the amnesty provision would be in a subsequent CBA. And the value of the amnesty option lessens over time. So I’m thinking that the amnesty here is Bynum insurance. The team likely has insurance on his contract, but I rather doubt that an insurer would insure any luxury tax attributable to Bynum (and for the obvious reason that the Lakers control whether there is any luxury tax). But luxury tax can be taken care of by way of an amnesty if he blows out a knee after signing a long-term extension. And I otherwise have not forgotten that Bynum is Jimbo’s guy (his mark on the franchise to date)(well, the Bynum mark and now the salary dump of Odom mark)(so the team could pick up a “solid” PF who has no post game and is not a good defensive rebounder, to go along with being the fourth or fifth option on a second unit that doesn’t appear to have even a first option and never mind options two and three).

    Almost forgot, but even if I’m wrong, I still don’t see Howard on the team until next season. No reason whatsoever for the Magic to trade him to the Lakers now. As some have written, there’s the All-Star Game in Orlando and good for their franchise to have one of their own in the game, and if Howard is at all sincere about seeing whether the team is willing to make moves to win, then why not make some moves and see how the playoffs go. And even if it comes to Howard playing his role in The Decision Part Deux, just as with the Cavs and Heat, there’s still the sign and trade with the Lakers (the Lakers would have to do so since they have no cap room to sign Howard and so if all the Lakers are willing to do is Bynum plus picks and no Gasol, that will be on offer this upcoming off-season should the Lakers prove desirous of Howard, so what’s the rush for the Magic?).

  54. Sooooooo. With the signing of Chris Paul the Clippers have now picked up 3 very good players. The Lakers have picked up 2 guys who would normally end up with the Clippers and dumped their 3rd gets player. Have tbe Lakers become the new Clippers. Is Jimmy the new Donald? wow we have Green and McRoberts. What’s next bring back Smush. This off season has become a embarrassment to Laker fans. We went from 2nd best in the West to 2nd best in the City. Nice job Jimbo and Mitch. Maybe you should give Walton and Fisher 10 year no-trade contacts next. Nice job it bizzaroworld

  55. I suppose it’s about time the annual Lakers fans’ “THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!” bandwagon gets going..

  56. Sky is not falling and perhaps there is more moves to come, but as it stands now you must admit the Lakers are weaker. No improvement on the poor point guard position, no back up center, no release of Walton and now no 6th man of the year. Oh and less we forget, traded to the team that thumped us earlier this year.

    Sky is not falling but it does at this moment appear a slight darker shade of blue.

  57. The Sky is Not falling if you are willing to put up with mediocrity. However if it is trips to the finals and Titles you want – the Sky is Falling.

    Ken: agree with all points.

    The league screwed us on Paul, however that was not a slam dunk great trade anyway. So when the league screws we go off and start beating ourselves up with the dumping of LO, the signing of some journeymen guys, and the unexplained expiration of trade exceptions (the same thing we traded LO for).

    I know I am a broken record, but Kobe only has a few years left and we can’t wait around.

    To those who think we should wait: how long before that goes down a path where we realize we can’t do anything to help Kobe win another, he gets unhappy, and Mitch is putting together a blockbuster in the wrong direction. Draft picks, trade exceptions, and Travis Knight wannabees – all for Kobe.

    Just think of the taxes and salary this would save.

    Wait until we start the year off poorly (almost a given), and then wait for the first frustrated locker room interview with Kobe. Mitch evidently has a 3 hour window for trading disgruntled players, so Kobe better watch what he says. Yes he has a no trade clause, but if he asks for it, that is another story. Kobe wants another ring, not a bunch of low round draft picks, trade exceptions, and journeymen players. We are miles behind Chicago and Miami right now.

  58. Odom, among all the other things he did for the team, was the Bynum injury security blanket.

    And, it should also be noted that while the Paul/Howard saga was going on, the team has not picked up a backup 5–and Caracter is out 4-6 weeks. As of now, your Opening Day starters at the 4 and the 5 are McRoberts and Gasol, and the only big off the bench is Chris Daniels.

    The Vujacic TPE expires today.

  59. Anyone else think it is comical that we are all responding to a thread titled Josh McRoberts? :)

    robinred: You truths are too brutal: Vujacic TPE wasted; no back up to AB, and the reminder that McRoberts starts games 1-5.

    Please start lying to us in your next post so you can be more optimistic :)