12:43pm: Erik Spoelstra said today that McRoberts is likely to miss the season, as the Heat coach told reporters, including Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The Heat plan to apply for a Disabled Player Exception, though they’re expected to wait until they’re confident that an NBA-designated doctor will agree with their assessment that it’s unlikely that he’ll play again in 2014/15, Winderman writes. If the league’s doctor disagrees, Miami wouldn’t be able to reapply for the exception for another 90 days, and even then, they could only do so if McRoberts either aggravated the injury or suffered a different ailment.
MONDAY, 1:26pm: Josh McRoberts has a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee which will force him to undergo surgery that could be season-ending, the Heat announced (Twitter links). McRoberts missed the start of the season after undergoing offseason toe surgery and has struggled to recover, averaging just 17.4 minutes per game and missing seven regular season contests after signing a four-year, $22.652MM contract in the offseason. The Heat would be eligible to apply for a Disabled Player Exception worth nearly $2.653MM if McRoberts is indeed deemed most likely to miss the season, though Miami would have to waive a player to make use of it, since the team has a full 15-man roster.
There’s a strong chance that Miami is also without Chris Bosh for a while, since it’s possible that he’ll miss a few weeks because of a strained calf, reports Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald. The Heat have struggled to replace LeBron James after bursting out of the gates to a 3-0 start this season, and Miami sits seventh in the Eastern Conference at 11-13 after a blowout loss Sunday at home to the Bulls.
McRoberts enjoyed a career year last season with Charlotte, where he averaged 30.3 minutes per game and established himself as a premier passing big man, racking up 4.3 assists against just 1.1 turnovers per contest. The Heat gave him a deal equivalent to the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception with hopes he’d do the same in Miami, and McRoberts passed up a comparable offer that the Hornets made after the Heat had already put their offer on the table. His absence from Charlotte appears to be one of many problems ailing the Hornets, who’ve gone just 6-17 without him this season.