Reports are swirling this week that Brandon Roy will be waived by the Portland Traiblazers using the amnesty clause in the new collective bargaining agreement. While still having to pay Brandon every cent, the team would at least free up his contract off the salary cap. Multiple knee surgeries, including two in January, cost Roy 35 games last season and have robbed him of much of his athleticism. But as he showed in the first round of the playoffs last season he is still capable of taking over games at times. Add to this that knee operations like his usually take a full year to recover fully from and this season could be a comeback year for Brandon Roy. Where would be a good place for him to land?
This is the most obvious choice and has already hit the rumor mills (thanks ESPN but this isn’t really news). The Bulls have an MVP point guard, a solid frontline, and serious championship aspirations….they also have a gaping whole at the shooting guard position. While his defense may be a question going forward, Roy would be a great fit here. His personality would gel with that of high-flying choir boy Derrick Rose. In the slowdown, defense-first system of Tom Thibodeau Brandon could pick his spots on offense. He would also get plenty of rest during the regular season with Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer in reserve…keeping those knees fresh for a long playoff run.
I haven’t heard this one yet, but I really like this option. Indiana is a similar atmosphere to Portland, Oregon. The fans and city would make Brandon feel right at home. It’s a young team with some growing still to do. This may rejuvenate Roy. He lost some of his passion last year while struggling to come back physically. He’d be playing opposite an All-Star caliber small forward in Danny Granger as well as have a traditional center to set pick for him on curls/backdoors. The newly acquired George Hill and last year’s phenom Paul George would give him plenty of rest when he needs it.
With Mark Cuban‘s resources and ‘fantasy basketball’ approach to building his roster, the Mavs are always in the mix for amnesty clause pick-ups. This team saw firsthand what Brandon Roy has left in the tank…..his Game 4 virtuoso performance at the Rose Garden was like watching a violin concerto at Carnegie Hall. It was like the entire Dallas defense was stuck in slow motion whenever he caught the ball. If Roy were to go to ‘Big D’ he would thrive off the attention that Dirk Nowitzki brings on offense. The open looks would be bountiful. However, the backcourt of Kidd and Roy could be a defensive liability due to foot speed and athleticism issues. The only person in Dallas who might object to this signing would be Rudy Fernandez, as he’d be forced to sit behind Brandon yet again. After years of complaining about minutes in Portland it would be Shakespearean.
Ah, what better place to extend one’s NBA life than in Phoenix. The desert air and first-class training staff left Shaquille O’neal raving about his days as a Sun (which is rare considering his reputation for burning bridges…just ask L.A., Miami, and Cleveland). While the Suns won’t be contending anytime soon, Roy would get to play with Steve Nash in a free-wheeling Alvin Gentry attack. Plus, the shooting guard spot is all but vacant with the non-guaranteed contract of Vince Carter. Could we see a remake of the Grant Hill story? Another perennial All-Star restarts his injury-plagued career in the Valley of the Sun.
New York Knicks
‘The Big Apple’ is always on every free agents wishlist, especially now that they’re competitive. While the Knicks have a very good young SG in Landry Fields, his personality is such that a move to the bench would not affect his play or confidence. Heck, Roy and he could even share court-time with one of Mike D’Antoni‘s small lineups (meaning most of the time). Then there’s the star power in NY to take the pressure off those creeky knees of Brandon’s. Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups…Brand Roy would fit right in. What are defenses going to do w/ Melo and Roy on opposite wings at the ends of ballgames? it would be a nightmare in crunch time and the perfect matchup to go at the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics in the East.
UPDATE: Brandon Roy has announced his retirement due to degenerative knees.