Tampering Week: Josh McRoberts

After a 24-58 season, the New Jersey Nets will have to make some changes heading into 2012. This week, Nets are Scorching takes a closer look at some soon-to-be-available names.

Stats: 72 G, 51 GS, 22.2 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG, .547 FG%, .739 FT%, 116 ORtg, 16.08 PER

Why Billy King Should Be Texting Him Right Now: The Nets are going to lack frontcourt depth this season unless they can resign Kris Humphries at a reasonable rate and Avery Johnson comes to his senses and plays Travis Outlaw at power forward (assuming they can’t find an idiot to take him off their hands). As a result, they need a big body like Josh McRoberts to eat up some minutes and keep Johan Petro on the bench.

McRoberts actually isn’t as terrible as you might sense he is. Sometimes you just get a feeling from watching players at times that they are terrible. I once had that feeling, but it turns out he’s not as abysmal as I once thought. He’s efficient shooting the basketball, notching a true-shooting percentage north of 60 percent this season, and he has some range on his jumper. Still, he has a tendency to take too many threes, which he can’t make consistently, so he should work on improving his shot selection. Furthermore, he was third among power forwards playing 20 or more minutes a game with a 22.0 assist ratio, so he can find the open man and isn’t plagued with tunnel vision.

Don’t Risk The Fine: Still, he does have his weaknesses. In addition to his improvable shot selection as mentioned above, McRoberts lacks the appropriate strength, mobility, and athleticism to be a factor on defense. Conditioning was also once a problem for him, but he seemed to have alleviated those concerns with his performance this season.

In addition, he’s a poor rebounder. He’s not Brook Lopez bad, but his rebound rate of 13.3 leaves much to be desired for a power forward standing 6-foot-10. Think about having Lopez and him in the same lineup — actually, who would want to?

And The Winner Is… Avoid: I can’t lie and say I’ve watched a ton of McRoberts over the years, but I also can’t lie and say I want to watch 82 games of him next season. He has the drive and motor typical of Duke players, but he also lacks the true natural talent like most Duke’s players. In McRoberts’ case, the former isn’t meaningful enough to justify the latter.