Josh McRoberts would love to re-sign with the Indiana Pacers but the free agent forward will likely end up elsewhere. And that may not be a bad thing for the Carmel native. According to ESPN L.A., the Los Angeles Lakers have shown an interest in signing McRoberts.
Running the floor with the Lakers would certainly soothe the pain of leaving the home town team. Considering the state of J-Mac's career when he arrived as an afterthought from Portland in the 2008 draft night trade, he's done a great job of developing his game to put himself in position where the Pacers are assuming he will get more money on the free agent market than they are willing to pay.
It seemed like a given since the end of last season that the Pacers weren't going to match any decent offer for McRoberts since they already had money committed to Tyler Hansbrough for a similar role on the team. When I spoke with McRoberts a couple of months ago, I assumed the feeling was mutual and that he was looking forward to his hard work literally paying off by signing a free agent deal with a new team.
Instead, McRoberts expressed a sincere desire to keep playing for the Pacers. He compared the development of his career to the way the Pacers have turned things around and he would like to see both continue to grow together as a tandem.
"I would love to be a part of what the Pacers have going," McRoberts said. "I think I've been a small part of kind of turning it around, getting it to the point where right now we can make a big jump. Turning it around took awhile but I'd love to be a part of it going forward because with the additions they made and some of the young talent they have, I think it would be a great team to be a part of still. But obviously it's a business so they'll have to do what's best for them and I'll have to do what's best for me at the end of the day."
You can see McRoberts was still coming to grips with the whole free agent situation in the way he jumped from "we" to "they" in those comments. Now the situation is pretty clear and McRoberts knows what to expect. Essentially, the Pacers are looking to upgrade the power forward position, but if things fall through and J-Mac is still there, they'd love to sign him. Gee, thanks.
McRoberts explained this situation nicely in a recent interview with JMV as his agent Mike Conley, Sr. takes calls and gauges interest from other teams.
"I don't think there's much interest from the Pacers, at least that's what I feel," McRoberts said. When asked if that lack on interest was disappointing, McRoberts didn't hold back.
"Yeah, absolutely it disappoints me," McRoberts responded. "We'll see. I think they do have some interest, but it kind of feels like your girlfriend's gone out and is seeing if there are any better options then they might come back to you later."
Yep, that sums it up perfectly.
I always love keeping track of the local NBA talent and will certainly keep tabs on McRoberts wherever he ends up. Also, check out this story by Mike Wells on J-Mac lending a help with the Carmel High hoops team during the lockout.