NBA Free Agency 2012: 4 Reasons Detroit Pistons Could Pursue Brandon Roy
He was a smart, savvy player who could score at will and was an underrated defender.
More than anything, he was a competitor who refused to take a loss at any cost.
Given that he spent his entire career in the Pacific Northwest, some people may not have fully appreciated his brilliance.
His career came crashing down when knee injuries sapped him of his explosiveness, and after a long road back from rehab, he finally decided to retire last fall.
Well, Roy appears to be heading back to the NBA, and I think Detroit could be a good fit for the former All-Star.
Here are four reasons Detroit might go after Roy.
Roy Would Make Ben Gordon Expendable
The Ben Gordon experiment has gone horribly wrong.
It's finally time for Detroit to find any way to get rid of the struggling shooting guard.
Since trades would probably be useless given Gordon's contract, the best bet would be for the Pistons to amnesty Gordon's contract and just move on.
That being said, the Pistons still need some depth in the back court, and Roy would provide that.
If Roy is even close to the player he was a couple years ago, he would represent a significant upgrade.
Additionally, he's over three inches taller than Gordon and handles the ball much better. Both are great shooters, but Roy is smarter and a much better passer.
Arnie Kander Could Work His Magic Yet Again
In Portland, Roy was subjected to what is generally considered the worst medical staff in the league. They're routinely in the middle of terrible situations with players and almost never make things better.
Some around the league consider the Blazers' medical staff just a notch above a Civil War triage tent.
Detroit, on the other hand, is on the other end of the spectrum.
Arnie Kander, the team's physical health guru, has a long list of success stories over the years, not the least of which being Antonio McDyess who also dealt with terrible knee issues.
In Kander's care, Roy could at the very least improve his health, and at the tender age of 28, could prove that he still has some life in his legs.
Roy Could Provide Leadership
The Pistons are a very young team that's struggling to find their voice.
Greg Monroe is a future star but is a quiet guy.
Rodney Stuckey seems to finally have figured out his game but still is not a vocal kind of leader.
Brandon Knight seems to be a leader but more of a lead-by-example type.
Brandon Roy is a leader in every sense of the word. He has always been the voice of his team, even when he was only a 22-year-old rookie.
A common sight during his days in Portland was Roy rounding up his teammates for a huddle after a tough play or a crucial possession.
Knight could develop into that type of player, but right now, he doesn't seem to be that guy. Roy could help him with that.
He could help focus Stuckey, who's from the same hometown of Seattle as Roy.
Roy has the resume that commands respect and is still young enough to relate to these guys.
Roy Would Represent a Low-Risk, High-Reward Option
It's not yet known how much money Roy is looking for, but it's a safe bet that he would be able to be obtained for a relatively low sum.
Roy is not a poor man. He made upwards of $40 million over his career with Portland and is still owed over $30 million more.
Sure, he probably wouldn't mind a shot with a contender, but not a lot of those teams are going to want to take a chance on Roy when those dollars could be allocated for a more reliable option.
The Pistons can afford to take a chance, perhaps for the mid-level exception, or hopefully, something a little closer to the veteran's minimum.
Signing with Detroit and their stellar medical staff could allow Roy to improve his value and land with a contender in a year or two—kind of like what happened with Tracy McGrady last year.
If Roy pans out, he could be a valuable member on a young, up-and-coming squad.