In his five years with the Trail Blazers, Brandon Roy made his mark on the NBA. He appeared in the All-Star game three times, was named the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year and was ranked No. 8 in the league for scoring during the 2008-09 season. He averaged 19.0 points per game for his career—peaking at 22.6 points in 2008-09 and 21.5 points in 2009-10—and is a 46-percent shooter. He has played in 15 career playoff games, including six in 2008-09 when he averaged 26.7 points per game in the postseason.
Roy will be a positive asset to Minnesota's roster. Here are five reasons why.
One consistent problem for Minnesota in past seasons has been its inability to effectively close out games. Brandon Roy will be a huge asset in this area—his highlight reel includes several pressure shots and buzzer beaters.
During the 2011-2012 season, defenses could almost solely focus on Kevin Love as the only truly reliable player during a fourth-quarter situation. Adding Roy to the lineup will broaden Minnesota's options and ensure the Timberwolves have deeper clutch plays for those down-to-the-wire games they're sure to face in 2012-2013.
Timberwolves web writer Mark Remme weighs in:
"While Love is still the primary scorer on this team, Roy is another added piece that defenses must respect. Even if Minnesota uses him in small portions to start the season, Roy can have that impact at the end of games or in spurts."
Since entering the league in 2006—when he was originally drafted by Minnesota—Brandon Roy has been a consistent shooter. He averaged in the mid-high 40s for field goal percentage during this first four seasons, and in 2010-2012 he shot 40 percent from the floor.
He tends to average almost 20 PPG per season, and he will be a huge asset to the Timberwolves if he continues to keep his point totals up. He will also improve the squad's perimeter shooting, as he shot 34 percent from downtown during the 2010-2011 season. Newly acquired Chase Budinger and Roy will be a dynamic duo from the three-point line.
Roy is a pure scorer, and Timberwolves fans can expect to see that implemented early on this season.
When hearing that Roy "came out of retirement" to join the Timberwolves, it's easy to take the critical point of view and focus on the physical issues that basically forced Roy out of Portland. The positive side of this, though, is that the Wolves gain a shooting guard with five years of league experience.
“I want to come in and make an impact right away,” Roy said. “I want to be ready to deliver. A lot of people think I’m going to be limited. I tell them, ‘Go ahead and think that way.’ I’m not cautious about anything. I’m confident everything will go well.”
True, Minnesota is taking a risk by bringing in a player suffering from tired knees. But look on the flip side—Roy wanted to continue in the league and he's confident he has something left to offer. If he's feeling as good as he says he is, his experience will deepen the roster and add a level of leadership that's been missing.
One of the biggest impacts Roy will have when coming into Minnesota is creating that consistency at shooting guard.
Over the past couple years, no player has taken ownership of the position. Wes Johnson and Martell Webster each filled the spot periodically, but neither one delivered a reliability that would keep him there. Instead, Adelman often pulled one of the available point guards—Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea—to play that traditional 2 spot.
Roy is a solid shooting guard. He has good size at 6'6" and 211 lbs, and he'll provide immediate stability for the lineup.
Besides just adding consistency at the shooting guard position, Roy automatically improves the Wolves' back court on both ends of the floor.
We already know Roy's a shooter. If the Timberwolves are lucky, he'll be capable of adding double-digit point totals each night. In addition, he averaged a solid 4.7 assists during his last season (2010-11) with the Blazers. Offensively, he'll no doubt excel.
But that's not all. The Washington alum averaged over 4 rebounds per game while in Portland, and he provides a high level of energy on defense. Having a larger body at the 2 will give Minnesota an advantage defensively.