Brandon Roy: Why Wolves Are Poor Choice for Roy Comeback
After being picked by Minnesota with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Roy's rights were traded to Portland. Starting in 2008, he made three consecutive All-Star games and looked like he was becoming a star.
The 2010-2011 season was difficult for Roy, and he missed most of the season with knee injuries. Shortly before last season began, he announced his retirement from the NBA.
As 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson reported, the Timberwolves are interested in signing Roy. It makes sense for the team to add depth, but he needs to go to a different team in order to resurrect his career.
In Portland, he averaged 19 points per game with nearly five assists. With the young players on the roster, he would not be guaranteed to start in Minnesota.
Although shooting guard is arguably the team's biggest needs, Roy may not get as much playing time as he would like. Minnesota was an up-and-coming team in the first half of last season, but an injury to rookie point guard Ricky Rubio hurt the team's playoff chances.
The Timberwolves are set at most positions with young players, so Roy would have a hard time fitting in.
Power forward/center Kevin Love, arguably the most underrated player in the league, plays for Minnesota. He is double-double machine, and he signed a long-term extension with the team last season. Love will be the Timberwolves' main scorer next season, so Roy would have to defer to Love if he signed with the team.
For the No. 18 pick in this year's draft, Minnesota acquired forward Chase Budinger from Houston. He will add even more youth to this already young team. Budinger is a decent three-point shooter, and he has shot 46 percent from the field for his career.
The rest of the team's forwards are young players with great potential. Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson are all extremely young, so Minnesota will try to develop them into great players. Williams, last year's No. 2 overall pick, will get more touches in his second season with the team. Beasley, who was hyped as a big-time scorer entering the league, still has time to be a prolific scorer.
At center, Nikola Pekovic quietly had himself a nice season. He is not a dominant player, but he fits what the team needs. If they hope to compete in the Western Conference next season, Pekovic will need to elevate his game.
Assuming they stay healthy, Rubio and J.J. Barea will play point guard for the team in the 2012-2013 season. Rubio is coming off of a serious knee injury, so Barea may see more action at the start of the season. Rubio was not a great scorer in his first season in the NBA, but he was a fantastic passer. If he had stayed healthy all season, he may have won the Rookie of the Year.
The Timberwolves' weakness at shooting guard has allowed them to pursue Roy. They currently have Martell Webster and Wayne Ellington, so they are looking to improve the position. Webster will wait to see if the team will pick up his $5.7 million option, and Ellington does not get enough chances to shoot threes.
With the young players on the team's current roster, Roy would be better off going elsewhere if he wants to make a productive return to the league.
Although he is recovering from knee injuries, Roy would not try to make a comeback if he did not want to return to his All-Star form. Playing in a diminished role and deferring to other players would make it difficult for him to put up big numbers.
Minnesota has players who would make life easier for Roy, but he would not get as many shots as he was used to with the Trail Blazers. He is not a selfish player, but he will be looking to play at a high level.
Roy would be better off joining a veteran team, and he would fit in nicely with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are one of five team interested in him, and they could use him to fill the two spot. Outside of Dirk Nowitzki, they do not have many scorers. Jason Terry will hit the market in free agency, so Roy could be his replacement.
Dallas would also be a good fit because they are ready to compete now. The Timberwolves are a year or two from contending, but they have a young core.
Even if Roy returns to the league and picks a team, he will still need to pass a physical. After his knees forced him to retire last year, teams will need to make sure they are investing wisely.
If he can return to form, Roy will be a very good player in this league. If he chooses to go to Minnesota, do not expect him to return to his All-Star form.
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