Roy wants back in, Spurs a good fit?


Brandon Roy retired from the NBA last December because his knees wore down.  Last spring during the first round of the playoffs, Roy submitted one of the most amazing performances of any postseason when he scored 24 points, 18 in the 4th quarter, to bring the Blazers back from an 18 deficit.  Downside was Roy couldn’t duplicate that performance and more often than not could barely run because of those knee problems.  Those same knee problems forced Roy to walk away from the game but now it appears the knees are in good shape and via former teammate Will Conroy’s twitter account, Roy announced he is ready to come back to the NBA (H/T for the USA Today for this compilation of tweets).

  • Yes I’m preparing for a comeback. I’m training daily
  • I’m preparing for a return next year.. God willing
  • I appreciate the luv.. Hopefully ill be back on the floor soon

Brandon Roy was one of the most dynamic shooting guards in the league before the knee issues started a few seasons ago.  The shooting guard hierarchy went Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and then BRoy or Manu Ginobili depending on who was healthy at the time.  If Roy does return he’ll be a free agent and can’t re-sign in Portland since they used the amnesty clause on him (he couldn’t return to Portland until the 2013-2014 season).  Since Portland is still paying his salary we can assume Roy will want two things: a significant role on a team and the chance to play for an NBA title.  One place that could offer him playing time, a training staff that knows how to monitor minutes and deal with chronic knee injuries is the San Antonio Spurs.  The real question is whether it’s worth it for the Spurs to go after him.

Let’s look at the good scenario first.  Roy could do for the Spurs what Michael Finley was when he came to the Spurs in 2006.  Finley had just been waived by Dallas, signed with the Spurs for not very much money and gave them a fourth scorer and allowed Manu Ginobili play less time and reserve his body a little.  Roy could do the same thing.  Obviously Roy and Finley’s games are very different, but if Roy could play 20 minutes a game, that would take a load of Manu during the season, that would help reserve his body for the postseason.  Since the Spurs lack a reliable back up point guard, Roy could also be the primary ball handler with the second unit which would keep Gary Neal as a shooter and not a ball handler.  It would also give the Spurs another guy who can create both his own shot and shots for others.  Also, since he’s still collecting a check from Trailblazers owner Paul Allen and no one knows for sure how healthy his knees are, he’d come at a pretty cheap price.

Here’s the bad scenario.  NO ONE KNOWS HOW HEALTHY ROY’S KNEES ARE!.  What has Roy done to improve the health of his knees besides not play in the NBA?  Did he go to Germany and get the Kobe procedure done?  Has he lost weight and started wearing a Punisher knee brace?  That’s an answer any team will obviously need to have before they commit even a non-guaranteed contract to Roy.  On the court, it’s important to remember that Brandon Roy wasn’t a ball stopper per say, but he does need a lot of touches.  Whether he’s taking dudes off the dribble or backing them down in the post, Portland’s offense could be really iso heavy when Roy was in there.  That doesn’t completely jive with the Spurs’ free flowing offense.  Again, that’s good if the offense breaks down and you need a bucket, but it can kill an offense’s flow.  Still, let’s not put it past Gregg Popovich to switch up an offensive game plan based on his personal.  The other down side is you’re giving up on Danny Green pretty quickly.  Green was really bad during the Western Conference Finals, but he was healthy and productive for 90 percent of the season.  Does it make sense to give up on someone so young that quickly?  As a restricted free agent, Green can bolt (assuming the Spurs don’t match any offer for Green) if he knows he’s going to become the fifth or sixth guard off the bench.  If Roy’s healthy, it’s worth the risk of losing Green, but that’s a risky proposition.

There’s a decent chance the Spurs are going to need another ball handler next season.  It looks like Patty Mills is going to opt out of his deal and Roy is a great ball handler and is proven performer in the postseason.  Still, no one knows how healthy he is.  What if he does sign and looks great for the first two months of the season and completely wears down after that?  Brandon Roy was one of my favorite players in the league as recent as two or three years ago and at that point nothing would’ve pleased me more than seeing Roy in a Spurs uniform.  If it happened I wouldn’t be pissed, but it’d make me really nervous.

Exit mobile version