There's no question that Miami Heat forward Josh McRoberts was an invaluable piece for the Charlotte Hornets last season, and a primary reason for the team's first post-season berth in several years. His sweet passing and overall veteran savvy quietly kept the team together, and despite posting the best statistical season of his career, he went largely unnoticed by the national media.
In his post-game interviews with players on both teams, the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell spoke to McRoberts about how he ended up in Miami. McRoberts said he "wanted" and "intended" to stay in Charlotte, but insisted the Heat were simply more aggressive in free agency.
According to McRoberts, Hornets owner Michael Jordan made a pitch to him sometime during the summer, but it was much too late, as he'd been negotiating with the Heat for quite some time. This makes sense, as LeBron James, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, forced a strict deadline on his former team to sign quality players that could help the Heat win another championship, and therefore convince him to stay in Miami. The Heat managed to sign Luol Deng and Danny Granger, but were unable to persuade stars like Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat to leave good situations without a promise that LeBron would stay.
The Heat were more aggressive in free agency, and that's how McRoberts ended up there. Interestingly, Bonnell also reported that two knowledgeable sources suggested that while it's common knowledge that the Hornets made a competitive offer to McRoberts, they weren't prepared to pay him mid-level exception money (roughly $5.3 million per season) until the Heat made the offer that he ultimately agreed to.
In Miami, McRoberts hasn't played much, and when he has, he's been underwhelming. Through four appearances and a total of 33 minutes, he's averaged 1.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in just 8.3 minutes per game. Some speculated McRoberts would start alongside superstar center Chris Bosh, but that hasn't been the case thus far. It's possible that McRoberts is still recovering from a toe injury he suffered last spring, and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra recently remarked that McRoberts will get more playing time once he becomes familiar with the team's systems in practice.
This surely isn't what McRoberts hoped for when he signed with the Heat, and it's not what the Hornets wanted either.