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Heat begin retooling; sign F McRoberts, F Granger

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The Canadian Press
7/7/2014 5:19:57 PM
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MIAMI -- LeBron James has been involved with some heated playoff moments involving Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts.

And now, they could be his teammates -- if the four-time NBA MVP decides to stay in Miami.

The Heat announced Monday that they intend to sign Granger and McRoberts when the NBA's moratorium on deals being formally struck ends later this week. McRoberts agreed to a four-year deal that starts at around $5.3 million next season, said agent Mike Conley Sr., with Miami using its mid-level exception to get that contract done.

"He thinks it's a chance to do some special things," Conley Sr. said, adding that McRoberts has a player option for the final year of his Heat deal.

Yahoo Sports reported Granger agreed to a two-year deal, worth about $2 million annually. Granger's agent, Aaron Mintz, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Those were the first two known moves by the Heat during the free-agent shopping period, but all eyes remain on what James is going to do and if he's worn a Miami uniform for the final time. Heat President Pat Riley is planning to meet with James later this week, in an effort to convince him to stay in Miami.

It's still unclear when the Riley-James meeting will take place. James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are all free agents, and none have said where they will be playing next season and beyond.

But even after going to the NBA Finals in four straight seasons, winning two championships, this was going to be an off-season of change for the Heat. Miami entered free agency with only Norris Cole under a guaranteed contract for this coming season. The Heat have a partially guaranteed deal with Justin Hamilton and the rights to guard Shabazz Napier, who was acquired on draft night.

So there are obviously plenty of slots to fill, and on Monday, the Heat began tipping their hand on who will get those jobs.

Contracts begin getting signed Thursday.

McRoberts averaged 8.5 points in 78 starts for Charlotte last season, and raised Miami's ire in the playoffs by levelling James with an elbow that some Heat players said looked intentional. McRoberts was issued only a common foul at the time, but the NBA upgraded it to a flagrant-2 and fined him $20,000. Miami will be McRoberts' sixth club.

Granger has a bit of playoff bad-blood history with Miami as well, most notably in 2012 when he was with the Indiana Pacers. The Heat said at the time Granger was instigating stars like James; the Pacers said he was just showing toughness.

Granger has been limited to 46 games over the past two regular seasons. He spent virtually his entire career to date with Indiana, before going to the Los Angeles Clippers for part of last season.

Josh McRoberts (Photo:  Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
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