Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Brandon Roy has stated that he wants to reclaim his role as the Blazers' starting shooting guard next season, and while he may be physically capable of it in the immediate future, it likely isn't the right move for him long term.
Given the bleak prognosis about Roy's future in the league (the consulting surgeon on his operation said he may have one or two quality years left), would it really make sense to play him for 30-plus minutes a night and ruin any chance of him recovering and being around long term?
Instead, look at last season's playoffs and the controversy over Roy's playing time and effectiveness in the first two games of Portland's series with Dallas. He played 26 minutes in the first game but went one-for-seven with three assists. After an emotional second game, where Roy played a mere eight minutes, he was understandably upset by his diminishing role on the team.
However, he came back for the final three games with a renewed sense of confidence and competitive fire. He provided a tremendous spark for Portland in Game 3 and had a playoff performance for the ages in Game 4, both while playing just 24 minutes in each game.
This is the role I believe would be best for Roy to accept, at least for now while there are still so many questions about his health and his future in the league. Having Roy come in and play around 20-25 minutes a game would not only be best for his health, but would also give the Blazers a huge advantage over their opponents in terms of depth and bench scoring.
Having a player of Roy's caliber come in and run the offense would give them a major advantage over other teams. Say Felton or Matthews were having an off night? Well, with Roy subbing in, the team would have the luxury of a starting caliber player to come in and stretch out an opposing defense and make plays for himself and his teammates.
Roy is a team first player and has said that he wants to do whatever to help the team win and, at least in my opinion, what's best for him and the team is for him to act as the team's sixth man.
Though it's definitely a step down for the three-time All-Star, adding a Sixth Man of the Year award to his list of accomplishments wouldn't look too shabby, and maybe having Roy comfortable and adjusted to coming off the bench would be enough to push Portland past the first round in 2012.