Originally written on Orlando Magic Daily  |  Last updated 11/10/14
When the Magic announced their opening day roster, the player probably no one knew what to expect anything from was Josh McRoberts. McRoberts had made a small name for himself in his days playing for the Pacers for his hustle and energy off the bench. But how he fit in with the new-look Magic was still a bit unclear. Certainly he was the big mystery man of the Dwight Howard trade as he seemed to only add to a glut of power forwards. Jacque Vaughn had to put Josh McRoberts to use pretty quickly as a small forward thanks to early season injuries to Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington. He was a little out of place, but made the best of it, providing some solid defense and a little more help on the boards. "He brings us versatility," Jacque Vaughn said after the game against the Celtics a few weeks ago. "I had him guard Pierce, I had him guard [Jeff] Green, I had him guard KG. Then he wins the tip in overtime. His versatility and ability to contribute to the team have been a very positive sign. I thank him for that." Yet, statistically, there is no doubt McRoberts has had an up and down season. Despite playing 15.2 minutes per game, McRoberts is averaging only 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Sometimes it seems like he is making an impact on the floor, even if the stats don't say so. Sometimes it feels like he is invisible. And now, of course he is caught in the middle of Jacque Vaughn's revolving door rotation. Figuring out exactly where McRoberts can contribute to this team is the struggle. Playing out of position has taken McRoberts out of his comfort zone. He is capable of hitting 3-pointers -- he is a career 34.5 percent 3-point shooter and has made 4 of 11 this year -- but is not exactly a threat to spread the floor. By playing him mostly at the three, the Magic likely take away his greatest attribute -- his hustle on the boards. "[I am] just trying to do what I can to help," McRoberts said after the game against Boston a few weeks ago. "Trying to fill in where they need me. I don’t care where I am as long as I get a chance to play." McRoberts has gotten a chance to play. Yet, there is a certain amount of frustration with McRoberts at times and a certain amount of admiration for his hustle and work playing out of position. McRoberts will have games like he had against the Celtics when he grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and played throughout crunch time. And then he will have games like he had to close out the homestand last Friday night against Brooklyn where he played only 6:38 and scored only two points (on a nifty layup and feed from Gustavo Ayon at that). In fact, since that breakout performance against the Celtics, McRoberts has seemingly disappeared from the rotation some.  The versatility is the main thing the Magic are hoping to showcase right now. And it is something they desperately needed thanks to those early season injuries. Again, at the same time, McRoberts does not quite fit in. He is not a huge threat to shoot the ball. And then at power forward he is not always strong enough to muscle up against great post players. Then you get into issues that no matter where he is playing, he is taking minutes away from young players like Andrew Nicholson and Maurice Harkless, guys the Magic want to see play. McRoberts does have an expiring contract, and so the theory might go that Orlando is trying to up his trade value by playing him more. But his somewhat uneven play -- he has had good games and games where he is non-existent in big minutes -- likely has done little in that department. This just might be what kind of role Josh McRoberts fills for this team. He is an intangible guy already who fills in wherever the Magic need him and just provide energy. That means he has to grab rebounds and play defense. This was what he was known for in Los Angeles and was something Lakers beat writer Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote Sunday in advance of his return to the Staples Center. McRoberts has made a name for himself wherever he goes despite meager statistics. That still makes it hard to judge what kind of impact he can ultimately make for the Magic. Right now, it remains intangible. Some nights it is clear he is playing very well. Some nights it is clear the Magic need to get more production from his spot or give young guys like Nicholson or O'Quinn more run. Whatever it is Orlando is looking for from Josh McRoberts, it appears they remain along for the ride in that process.

Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos


Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.