NBA Free Agency: Brandon Roy Begins NBA Comeback with Minnesota Timberwolves
It's a press conference that's been six years in the making.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have played 477 games since selecting Brandon Roy with the sixth pick in the 2006 NBA draft. The Timberwolves are 137-340 (.287) in those games after trading the eventual Rookie of the Year and three-time All Star to the division rival Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Randy Foye.
Foye was traded to the Washington Wizards in a deal that sent Minnesota the draft pick they used to select Ricky Rubio.
Roy became one of only three All-Stars to come out of the 2006 NBA draft (LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Roy), averaging 19 points and 35 minutes per game and leading Portland to three playoff appearances in five seasons.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, the then 26-year-old Roy retired from the NBA, citing a degenerative knee condition. Roy had undergone multiple operations that depleted his knees of cartilage, including arthroscopic surgery.
Now 28 and looking to make a comeback, Roy has returned to where he spent about the first 30 minutes of his NBA career after undergoing the blood-spinning Regenokine procedure in Los Angeles. The treatment, also used by the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant last offseason, helped cut down on swelling and improved recovery time for Roy.
Roy says his knees are fine. "Physically, I feel good." Roy told ESPN1500.com. "I want to play as much as possible, but at the same time I want to be smart. It's a long season, and want to be at our best down the stretch."
A lot has changed in the six years since Roy was drafted by Kevin McHale. No players from the 2006-07 roster remain with the team. The team has since changed uniforms, general managers and had five different head coaches (Dwayne Casey, Randy Wittman, Kevin McHale, Kurt Rambis and current coach Rick Adelman).
Roy expressed interest in several teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota. Roy chose the Timberwolves because of the direction the team is headed, his relationship with Wolves assistant Bill Bayno and the opportunity to play for coach Rick Adelman.
The Roy signing concluded a couple of busy days for the Wolves. They also traded former first-round pick Wes Johnson to the Phoenix Suns to clear up cap space, then signed Roy to a two-year, $10.4 million deal.
In addition, the Wolves signed former Utah Jazz All-Star and 2012 Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year, $20 million contract. Kirilenko is currently playing for Russia in the Olympics.
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