Apparently, the Clippers will do anything to steal Josh McRoberts' thunder. On the day he met the L.A. media in El Segundo for the first time, they went ahead and pulled off the Chris Paul deal.
Not cool, Clippers. Not. Cool.
All kidding aside, McRoberts is set to play a significant role in the rotation, particularly early while a suspended Andrew Bynum is in street clothes. "Obviously the thing that I like about him is his size, his length," Mike Brown said Wednesday. "He’s a tough son of a gun, and he brings an added energy to this team when it comes to getting offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, running the floor, getting putbacks, diving on the ground for fifty-fifty balls. He brings those intangibles that can be infectious amongst the group."
Brown continued. "We’re trying to get our bigs to run to the front of the rim early in the offense, and put pressure on the defense that way. Josh is a great runner, and if you get close enough all you have to do is catch and dunk it, you know? He can obviously shoot a jump hook, he’s got a nice little shot from 15 to 17 feet. He’s a skilled passer."
While McRoberts' primary position is power forward, Brown believes he could play some center in certain circumstances.
They key to the McRoberts signing is to avoid attaching expectations based on external factors out of his control, and not make him a symbol and target for frustrations regarding the Lakers' current state. He didn't trade Lamar Odom, it's not his fault the Clippers snagged Chris Paul. There are things to like about his game. McRoberts is young, and adds energy/athleticism the Lakers can use. He goes to the rim, moves the ball well (though is prone to turnovers), and has improved his production fairly steadily over the last three years with increased playing time. Still, his offensive game is limited, and has a long way to go at the other end on the glass and with his defense.
Remember, if he was a fully formed player, the Lakers wouldn't have been able to afford him.
He's a rotation guy, not a frontline piece, and can't be seen as a "replacement" for Odom. Totally unfair, and in that context he'll disappoint. A lot. The void left by Odom's production and utility will have to be shared by everyone on the roster, and also in the front office who need to keep adding talent for this team to win in 2011-12.
Fortunately for McRoberts, he understands what he's walking into, and (those four years at Duke obviously doing him some good) made it clear he's not here to make people forget L.O.. So without further ado...
Meet Josh McRoberts!
McRoberts on why he picked the Lakers, and getting back on the floor:
More video below...
McRoberts on "replacing" Odom, his fitness, and picking up the system:
McRoberts on year-to-year improvement, and whether he thinks the Odom deal changed L.A.'s interest in him: