Here’s your task if you’re Pat Riley: assemble a roster that will appeal to LeBron and give him the chance to win multiple titles. And do so with the understanding LeBron will only settle for a max deal, and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will have to be part of the plan. In other words, understand that those three players will tie up the majority of the team’s cap space, and you will have limited resources to upgrade the roster. It’s no easy task.
But Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger? That’s who’s supposed to convince LeBron to stay in Miami? I hope Riley has something else up his sleeve. Granger hasn’t been relevant on the court in years. He was mostly only brought up last season, when people were trying to explain the Pacers’ locker room mess. He was hardly even mediocre in the half-regular season that he played for the Clippers, and then he was a complete non-entity in the playoffs, shooting under 30%. Granger is just another aging wing that would show up occasionally, but not consistently anymore.
And Josh McRoberts is not a bad player by any stretch, but besides the analytics gurus, most people would not exactly say McRoberts is a good player. He is a stretch four, but primarily, he’s a passer. Michael Jordan thought McRoberts was a big piece to the Hornets’ puzzle, and that may be his claim to fame. The point is not to rip on McRoberts because on the right team, he actually is a pretty valuable player. It’s just: that’s who’s supposed to lure LeBron back to Miami?
LeBron gave Pat Riley a week to do something. And that’s all Riley could do. If Riley really thinks a “Get tough and get the band back together, with Granger and McRoberts too” is going to keep LeBron in Miami, then maybe it really is time to leave. I mean, we expect better out of Riley. He’s supposed to be smart and creative with these things. Or at least intimidating, like last free agency, when he laid down all of his rings on the table in front of LeBron. Maybe the Heat are just too tied up financially (assuming they’d keep the Big 3) to really make a significant roster change. Whatever it is, Riley has given a weak pitch to LeBron.
Who knows if there’s any truth to the rumors that LeBron’s inner circle wants him to return to Cleveland. But there’s a hell of a lot more reason to believe it, after seeing Miami’s latest move.