Heat want Josh McRoberts

Updated: July 7, 2014, 3:12 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Miami Heat are making an aggressive bid to secure a free-agent commitment from Charlotte Hornets free-agent forward Josh McRoberts before president Pat Riley meets this week with LeBron James.

[+] EnlargeJosh McRoberts
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesJosh McRoberts is regarded as one of the game's best passing big men.

Sources tell ESPN.com that the Hornets are pursuing McRoberts just as doggedly, which has the versatile power forward weighing the two offers as of Monday afternoon.

The Heat have been talking to a number of free agents in hopes of securing a verbal commitment or two to impress James and encourage him to stay in Miami in the face of the serious interest James is drawing from the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns.

Sources say that Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Marvin Williams and Anthony Morrow are among the free agents that Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra have chased. But Miami appears closest to a deal with McRoberts, who sources say is nearing a decision.

Miami's thinking is that McRoberts' passing and shooting ability would make him an ideal complement to James. Charlotte often runs its offense through McRoberts, who is regarded as one of the game's best passing big men.

The two certainly aren't strangers: McRoberts was fined $20,000 during the 2014 playoffs for making excessive contact with his foul on James during Game 2 of their first-round series.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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