In what one could describe as a shocking turn of events, Brandon Roy passed up on a handful of title contenders to come to a verbal agreement with the most unlikely suitor of all. That team, of course, is the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As outlined in a previous article, Roy cannot be expected to return to star form in his first year back. In fact, he may never be the player he once was.
What can be said, however, is that the Minnesota Timberwolves offer the best-case scenario for a Brandon Roy comeback. Even if there were some other high-profile teams with interest.
The T-Wolves have long needed a consistent scoring option from the perimeter. Wesley Johnson is much better at attacking the basket than he is spotting up or coming off of screens for a jump shot, while Michael Beasley is a thought of the past.
Although Brandon Roy's knees may hinder his explosiveness, that beautiful elbow-tight, wrist-smooth release is coming to the Twin Cities. As is Chase Budinger, who offers depth and safety behind the former star.
Now that's something to get excited about.
Roy was once an excellent scorer whose three All-Star appearances were well-deserved. He's as clutch as they come and has the "never say die" approach that every coach dreams of. Roy also has the ever-elusive killer instinct that has made active players such as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade legends in this game.
Unfortunately, Roy doesn't have the health to play at that level. Or so we assume.
In Minnesota, Brandon Roy will be thrust into a position he's unfamiliar with: second fiddle. While one may view this as a threat to his confidence, it's far from it. Instead, Roy will benefit from the fact that he's no longer the top target of every defense and double-team.
When you throw in a healthy Ricky Rubio and the rapidly developing Nikola Pekovic, Roy may be further down the list than we presume.
Kevin Love is a legitimate star who many believe is one of the top 10 players in the NBA. His ability to score from the post and the perimeter is key, as defenses can no longer close out on Roy's shooting. This is also important due to the fact that Roy works a drive-and-dish game on a much more consistent than the average 2.
It also doesn't hurt to know that Roy's new coach, Rick Adelman, has a long history with injury-prone stars. It's safe to assume that after the Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming sagas, Adelman will play Roy in the safest yet most productive manner.
Brandon Roy needed to come back to a place where expectations were low and the learning curve came with unity. Just as the former Washington Huskies star re-enters the NBA and attempts to re-emerge as a star player, the Minnesota Timberwolves look to re-emerge as a great team.
Considering they were 21-19 before Ricky Rubio's season-ending injury, Roy may be just what they need to push them over the hump.
It's been a long road to recovery for Brandon Roy and it's been equally as painful for the post-Garnett Minnesota Timberwolves. Together, they will struggle, they will fight, they will claw and one day, they will re-emerge.
Brandon Roy just found the perfect place to call home.