MINNEAPOLIS -- Brandon Roy gave it everything he had to try
to resurrect a playing career derailed by chronic knee problems.
He had platelet-rich plasma therapy on his knees last summer to
get himself in position to sign a deal with the Minnesota
Timberwolves. He worked hard in training camp to get his body in
shape for the NBA after missing the previous year when he retired
from Portland. And when the knee issues came up again early in the
season, Roy had one more arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in
a last-ditch effort to get on the court one last time.
In the end, his knees wouldn't cooperate. And now his career may
have come to a painful close once and for all. The Timberwolves
waived Roy on Friday, which could mark the end of an All-Star
career that was shortened by knee problems.
"We wish Brandon and his family all the best in the future,"
new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders
said in a statement issued by the team.
Roy retired before last season when he couldn't alleviate the
bone-on-bone pain in his knees that stopped the three-time All-Star
from being the smooth, playmaking shooting guard that made him a
franchise cornerstone in six seasons with the Blazers. But after
getting some time to rest and trying the same advanced procedure
that Kobe Bryant and others have used in the past, Roy felt good
enough to try a comeback.
He signed a two-year deal worth more than $10 million to join
the Timberwolves, who were desperately in need of a big,
shot-making shooting guard to play alongside Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. After a promising training camp, the knee issues quickly returned.
Roy first was hurt again in a collision in a preseason game with
the Indiana Pacers. He played five games at the start of the
regular season, but that was all he could manage. He had
arthroscopic surgery in December and tried several other methods of
rehabilitation and therapy as the season progressed. Each time he
thought he was getting close to returning, the pain would return.
The 28-year-old Roy averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 assists in his
five games with the Wolves.
The second season of his deal was not guaranteed, making Roy's
release inevitable. The Wolves will get roughly $5.3 million in
salary cap room by making the move, which will help Saunders pursue
other alternatives for shooting guard this summer, which remains
the team's biggest need. Free agents like O.J. Mayo or Kevin Martin, who played for coach Rick Adelman in Houston, could be
possibilities, and the Wolves also will consider trading for a
veteran and using their two first-round draft picks to improve their
shooting from the perimeter.