NBA Rumors: Brandon Roy Would Be Better off Retired Than on Lakers or Warriors

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23:  Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers runs down court after making a shot to overcome a 23 point deficit to defeat the the Dallas Mavericks 84-82 in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After retiring last year due to chronic knee problems, Brandon Roy now appears to be on the verge of making a return to the NBA (via Peter Vecsey's Twitter):

Brandon Roy is considering Lakers should he come back. I say he's coming back 4 sure...but to Warriors, where ex-agent Bob Myers is GM

— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) May 31, 2012

While a return to the NBA ranks would be a heroic story for the once-spectacular 27-year-old, he should keep his options open.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors only make sense for Roy on a superficial level, at best. Los Angeles is a perennial contender—for now—and the Warriors are certainly headed in the right direction.

Upon deeper reflection, though, these particular situations wouldn't be ideal fits.

The Lakers could use help on the bench, but Roy would have trouble spending most of his minutes at the point or small forward, which would be crucial with Kobe Bryant getting the vast majority of minutes at shooting guard. Roy isn't big enough to guard forwards, and he's not quick enough at this stage to keep up with opposing point guards.

It doesn't help that Los Angeles is on the downside of its dynastic trajectory. Unless general manager Mitch Kupchak can turn Pau Gasol into a younger star, the Lakers' best days will go as Kobe goes—which is to say, not for much longer.

Meanwhile, Golden State is still in the midst of building a playoff team out of one that epitomizes mediocrity. The Warriors are young and probably on the right track, but they wouldn't offer the kind of experience and environment Roy deserves.

More than a few teams could use a guy like Brandon Roy in the locker room–and on the floor.
More than a few teams could use a guy like Brandon Roy in the locker room–and on the floor.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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He'd have to share minutes with Klay Thompson, whom the Warriors believed in so much that they were willing to part with Monta Ellis in a trade for Andrew Bogut.

While Roy would be an outstanding mentor for Thompson, he'd find himself spending more time teaching than winning.

Even if Roy would accept less, he deserves more.

In his first four seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, the 2-guard quickly became one of the most well-rounded scorers in the game. The No. 6 overall pick in the '06 draft, if Roy returns in good form, he could potentially resurrect his career in much the same way Grant Hill has with the Phoenix Suns.

Ideally, that would be with a club on the way up, with genuine championship aspirations on the horizon.

The other LA team would seem to be a much better fit. The Clippers need a shooting guard, and Chris Paul was built to extend teammates' careers. The franchise would certainly fit the profile of an up-and-coming contender, one Roy's veteran leadership might put over the top.

Unless the right opportunity presents itself, Roy is better off staying put. Forcing a comeback prematurely might derail an otherwise promising encore performance from a player we'd all like to see in action again.


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