|PER||PER Against (Net)|
|Josh McRoberts||14.9||16.9 (-2.0)|
Strengths: Basketball IQ, unselfishness, offensive connector, energy, and his hair + beard combo — some action words to describe the positives that McBob brings to the floor. He was the consummate team player for the roster this season and ended up being one of the most reliable + consistent starters that Charlotte had.
Now that most of the NBA is playing a 4-out, 1-in type of offensive system, most teams need a PF that can step out beyond the three-point line and make plays – McBob was able to do that in more ways than one. Passing the ball could be his greatest strength at his size – McBob averaged 6.8 AST/48 min + ranked 5th in the NBA among all players that averaged 30+ MPG in assist rate at 32.7 — Yes, that’s very impressive. McBob has great vision, a pass-first mentality, and if Charlotte is able to bring him back (we’ll talk about this more later) then he’ll continue to act as a point-forward on the court.
I’m not quite sure how confident I am with listing McBob’s stroke as a strength, but it’s very respectable for an NBA PF – he shot 36.1% from behind-the-arc this season. Although his shot spins like the world, and does not rotate like any shooting coach would tell you, it’s obviously somewhat effective. Teams never committed to taking away the three-point shot from McBob this season, and really played off of him when he caught it at the top of the key – he made them pay enough for me to live with him attempting 3.7 3FGA/game.
Energy. McBob never lacks effort or energy when on the floor and this is something that a stat can’t track, but it’s invaluable. The most notable example of this was the foul on Lebron James in game two of the playoffs. McBob put an elbow into Lebron’s throat, intentional or not, in where he basically decided that James wasn’t going to get to the rim without a ton of contact. To me, this says that McBob has no problem being the enforcer when on the floor and every roster needs this.
Weaknesses: The most glaring weakness is defense — it was very hard for Clifford to hide McRoberts on the floor as he almost always had to matchup with the opposing teams PF. McBob was the hedge defender in a ton of pick-and-rolls for Charlotte’s defense this season, so he constantly had to play two roles — contain the ball and recover to his man who either popped out after the pick, or rolled to the basket. This is probably the toughest defensive assignment to inherit, and in all honesty, he did a very nice job. McBob is mobile enough to show hard on containing the ball off of PnR’s + moves well enough to recover to his man. I’m not making an excuse for him, but the fact is that he was put on an island probably as much as any defender on this team next to MKG.
Charlotte sported a 103.5 defensive efficiency with McBob off-the-floor, opposed to a 106.4 rating with him on-the-floor. Charlotte also allowed an effective FG% of 49.7% with McBob on-the-floor, but just 48.1% with him off-the-court.
McBob’s decline in rebounding raises enough of a voice to at least discuss this briefly, but I wouldn’t be too alarmed. For his career, McBob has averaged 4.2 RPG. In 26 games last season in Charlotte, he averaged 7.2 RPG (definitely an inflated outlier). This season, he averaged 4.8 RPG + had a total rebounding rate of 8.9 — that’s not great for an NBA starting PF. In fact no PF in the league this season had a worse total rebounding rate (that played 30+ MPG) other than Khris Middleton (7.2). Charlotte had a 49.0 total rebounding rate with him on-the-floor vs. 51.3 rating with him off-the-floor. I wouldn’t be over-alarmed about these stats because it’s been well documented over time that McBob isn’t a great rebounder, but it would be nice to see this improve moving forward.
Reasons For Optimism: Well, this all hinges on whether or not Charlotte is able to re-sign McRoberts. He’s 27 years old, seemingly entering his prime, and has a player option this summer worth $2.7 million — McBob will definitely decline the option and become an unrestricted free-agent to test his market throughout the league. This could be a similar situation that Charlotte dealt with when mulling on Gerald Henderson last summer – the front office wish would be that McBob doesn’t garner a ton of interest (similar to Hendo), which will drive the price down, and ultimately bring him back to Charlotte on a very affordable multi-year deal.
Reasons For Pessimism: A team falls in love with McBob’s intangibles + ability to stretch the floor with the long-range shot (I don’t believe 36% is sustainable going forward) and overpays for him in free-agency. Depending on how you perceive Cody Zeller, this would leave Charlotte with a gaping hole at the PF position, or just pave the way for Zeller to slide into the starting lineup. I’ll go this far – Charlotte is worse with Zeller as the starting PF opposed to McBob when discussing on-court success.
– Stats for this article were compiled from 82games.com