Brandon Roy is in a unique situation with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has a loaded contract and basically no knees. Yet he has what I consider to be one of the greatest 4th quarter playoff performances of all time. Roy certainly did not look like a guy running around with no cartilage in Game 4 of the first round of last year's playoffs against Dallas.
Roy is my favorite NBA player and it's a shame that such a great guy on and off the court has been hampered down by this. He used to have such a high ceiling but now struggles to get up and down the floor at times. However, with an unforgettable playoff performance last season I think Roy still has a lot of good basketball left in him.
Roy's season could go many different ways this year and these are the possible paths:
Option 1: I think the most likeliest of options is that Roy stays somewhat healthy throughout the season and becomes the go-to man off of Portland's bench. Roy will lead the second offense and keep the team competitive with starters off the floor.
Brandon will play around 20-25 minutes a game and will be on the floor for the majority of the 4th quarter. Right now Roy is still the closer and will continue to make big late game plays this year. He will have a decent year off the bench playing an important role for the Blazers throughout the season.
Option 2: Brandon Roy prayed a lot this off-season and it payed off. Roy comes back to the squad with little pain in his knees and somehow can play 30 minutes or more with little consequence. Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge become a great 1-2 punch that teams have trouble defending because both are tremendous playmakers.
Which Option Will Roy Take for the 2011-12' Season
This option might seem a little far-fetched but if anybody in the NBA has the willpower to heal from something like this, it's Roy. He cares about playing basketball and he wants to be on that court every day. Grant Hill has recovered nicely from knee problems and he still plays a major role for the Suns. I say watch out for Roy—he will put up a fight.
Option 3: Roy struggles again with pain and minor knee injuries. He has difficulty playing in back-to-back nights. He possibly misses a few weeks here or there and looks down while watching his team play. He shows flashes of his greatness at times but can't stay at that level for more than a few plays at a time.
In the end, Roy misses around half of Portland's games in what should be an already shortened season. He has fan sympathy on his side and we love Roy to death but it's clear he and his injuries are putting a hamper on the team.
Option 4: The team uses the Proposed Amnesty Clause on Roy and he gets traded to a team in need of a veteran closer. From there, his season could follow one of the aforementioned options.
At some point in the season he returns to Portland to play against the Blazers and the fans will cheer as loud as they have all year for the player who saved the franchise. Of course he would go on to have a great game against his former team and show that in his heart he is still an All-Star.
I believe all these options are plausible for the upcoming Trailblazers season. Feel free to comment and vote for the option you believe Roy will take this year.