Brandon Roy attempting comeback with T-Wolves

Jul 8, 2012, 10:41 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2012, 2:13 pm

By Cameron Van Til
Special to

Brandon Roy could be exactly what the Minnesota Timberwolves need — as long as his knee issues don’t get in the way.

The 27-year-old Roy, a Washington Husky legend and three-time NBA All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers, came out of a brief retirement and agreed to the terms of a two-year, $10.4 million deal with the Timberwolves last week.

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune noted that the risk is big, but so is the reward.

Former Husky Brandon Roy spent five seasons with the Trail Blazers before deciding to retire in December due to chronic knee injuries. (AP)

“It’s certainly your classic risk-reward by the Wolves,” Zgoda told “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Friday. “[They] desperately need a veteran and a shooting guard — that’s their one position where they really have a glaring deficiency.”

The risk, of course, is Roy’s ailing knees that forced him to retire in December at the young age of 27. His knees had degenerated so much — they lack any cartilage whatsoever — that Roy, with the advice of doctors, felt it was best to call it quits. Roy cited his desire to be able to walk and play with his children when he became older as one of his primary reasons.

But obviously he had second thoughts about retiring from the game he loves.

“According to his agent, he started last winter working out, felt better, had this procedure done — this therapy done — in May … that’s similar or the same that Kobe [Bryant has] undergone, although it’s a completely different condition because [Roy] has no cartilage left,” Zgoda said. “So it’s not going to fix it — it’s not going to grow it back — but it supposedly has helped him with the pain and with the swelling [and] allows him to recover faster.”

Only time will tell whether Roy’s knees will be able to hold up, but it sounds like he’s confident they will.

“His agent says [Roy’s] planning to move his family [to Minnesota] and that he envisions being here for longer than two years [and] make this place his future,” Zgoda said. “He turns 28 soon, so … if his knees are willing he still has some basketball left in him. But it’s hard when you have bone on bone.”

Roy’s deal with the Timberwolves actually brings him back to the team that drafted him. The Timberwolves took Roy with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft, only to trade him away the same night to Portland for Villanova guard Randy Foye.

Foye battled injuries in Minnesota and didn’t have nearly as much success as Roy, who became a three-time NBA All-Star while averaging 19 points per game, leading Portland to three playoff appearances and developing a reputation as one of the league’s best clutch performers.

One of the primary reasons the Wolves traded Roy was their concerns about his knees.

“The doctors had flagged the knees in the pre-draft physicals,” Zgoda said.

The Timberwolves may not have been willing to take their chances then, but they are willing to this time around. And if it works out, it could pay off immensely.

“His agent suggested that he’s playing like he did two, three years ago,” Zgoda said. “… We’ll see if that’s true and how long that lasts.”

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