A source familiar with the situation said Thursday that Portland figures it must deal with Brandon Roy's future if it's truly going to rejoin the league's contenders. Retirement for Roy is among the options they're considering.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It seems premature.
Not long ago, Brandon Roy was the face of the Portland Trail Blazers. He was an All-Star. He was a terrific scorer. And he was a role model in the community.
Roy, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, seemed a blessing for a basketball mad city that suffered through the ‘Jail Blazers’.
All appeared good. So the Blazers handed Roy the keys to the Rose Garden, signing him to a six- year deal for maximum money.
The good times didn’t last, though.
Roy’s knee injuries became serious. He missed significant time. When he returned his game changed. He was a part-time player earning a star’s salary.
Coach Nate McMillan gave Roy’s minutes to others and the situation became a national crisis when the two-guard spoke out publicly during the playoffs.
The scandal inspired Roy. His play improved. And he single-handedly won a playoff game for the Blazers by dropping 16 points in the fourth quarter on the Dallas Mavericks.
When healthy, Roy can still play. This may not be enough for the Blazers.
Bottom line: the Blazers have a choice. They can hope Roy’s play justifies the remaining four-years and $68 million on his contract.
Or, they can do some research and search for an escape clause, which would mean buying Roy out or pushing retirement.
This is risky. Suppose the Blazers approach Roy about ending their relationship. Once the process begins, there’s no turning back. Things could get ugly.
Who would contact Roy about a buyout? And who would negotiate the terms of this buyout?
After all, owner Paul Allen fired Richie Cho –even though, he hired him less than a year ago- because he didn’t feel chemistry with the GM.
There’s no timeline to hire a new front office Tsar. And no self-respecting executive would take the gig knowing they had to deal with Allen’s meddling and buyout Roy.
The Blazers should step back and think carefully before initiating discussions with Roy. This has the potential to end badly.
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