First, the Blazers brass decided to can GM Rich Cho after only one season on the job, and now they continue to alienate their fan base with this move.
Granted, Brandon Roy is, and will continue to play, on two bad knees. After several surgeries, Roy is basically down to no cartilage in his knees, and therefore, he is playing with bone rubbing on bone. This cannot bode well for his playing future, but that does not mean it is time to hang them up immediately.
Roy has $68 million left on his contract with the Trail Blazers, a contract signed before the bulk of the injuries to his knees cropped up. The front office believes that asking him to retire will without question help the Blazers in the future, as an immense amount of cap space would be opened up. Plus, they say, it would be a win-win situation for both parties. Portland would have more freedom in free agency, and Roy would still get his money, just not as part of the team's annual salary.
Is Brandon Roy the all-star caliber player he once was? No. But after a spectacular performance against Dallas, where he tallied 18 fourth quarter points, it is apparent he still has gas left in the tank.
Roy has stated he will work hard in the offseason to rehabilitate his knees in hopes of playing well in the future, and this shows he still has the heart and desire to play in the NBA. He knows just as well as any of us that his time in the league will be cut short. But at 26, he has to feel as if he still has a couple of years left.
The front office for Portland should take a step back and canvas the scene. Do they really want to ask the player that reinvigorated their franchise, and their fan base, to retire, especially after they just fired their GM? This may seem like a wonderful plan on paper, but sometimes, what looks good on paper doesn't look good in reality, and this seems like one of those instances.
Although Roy's contract hurts the team salary-wise in the short term, the possible long term effects of his retirement could far outweigh this. The Blazers' fan base would undoubtedly start to question the mindset of owner Paul Allen and the Portland executives if this move were to occur.
If Brandon Roy is forced into retirement this offseason, the Blazers will have dug a hole that may be too deep to dig out of for years to come.
All of the work over the years to bring Portland back to prominence in the NBA, and to win back the fans in Portland, could all wash down the drain with one, short-sighted move. Don't do it, Portland.