Brandon Roy: Signing Former All-Star Is Worth Risk for Minnesota Timberwolves

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 15:  Guard Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers dribbles the ball past DeShawn Stevenson #2 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 15, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Brandon Roy's injury-plagued past makes him a much bigger risk than his career statistics would suggest. If you just look at the numbers, Roy is an easy player to offer. 

The three-time All-Star shooting guard averaged 19 points per game in five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, but before last season he was forced to retire because of chronic knee issues. 

Whispers of a Roy comeback kicked up a few weeks ago, but now things are official. According to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed Roy.

Brandon Roy has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to sources. Link coming.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 6, 2012

This deal is met with some chagrin because of the obvious risks attached to Roy. He was only able to start 295 games in his five Portland seasons, and his knees were always an issue, but he's worth the risk in this situation.

The Timberwolves are in the position to take a chance. Their backcourt is bare boned besides Ricky Rubio (also recovering from ACL injury). Wesley Johnson has been a disappointment, and their options aren't going to get much worse at this point. 

Money will be the common argument against Roy. Why would you spend $10 million on a player who could get hurt at any moment? 

In this case, it's because Roy is one of the best players in the league when he's healthy. If Minnesota had an established system in the backcourt that would be one thing, but they don't. Roy will provide stability off the bench, and he could mentor Johnson into becoming the player he was supposed to be. 

The Timberwolves certainly took a risk, but sometimes it's worth it. Roy is an extremely gifted player who has faced a string of bad luck.

If he stays healthy, Minnesota hit the gold mine. If he doesn't, you can say you tried.

Roy's versatility (can play three positions), stat-sheet stuffing and leadership will pay dividends for the Timberwolves. Even if he is hurt, he will provide a veteran presence that Minnesota could sorely use. 

People laughed at this deal initially. It's like giving Greg Oden $10 million at this point, but Roy's proven ability nixes that idea.

The Timberwolves should be applauded for taking the leap of faith. They could be laughing at everyone else by season's end.