Blog Entry

Blazers GM: Can Brandon Roy play 82 games?

Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 5:28 pm
Portland Trail Blazers acting GM Chad Buchanan wonders whether guard Brandon Roy can play 82 games next season. Posted by Ben Golliver. brandon-roy-point

The last few months have been nothing short of disorienting for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The team was bounced out of the first round of the playoffs for the third season in a row by the Western Conference's eventual champion: the Dallas Mavericks. The loss was not unexpected, but it was still frustrating, as owner Paul Allen and coach Nate McMillan both seemed dead set on making further progress in the postseason this year.

If the playoffs were frustrating, than the offseason, so far, has been perplexing. GM Rich Cho, on the job for less than a year, was fired without warning. President Larry Miller shifted some deck chairs around, naming director of college scouting Chad Buchanan as Acting GM.

There's no bigger issue facing Buchanan and the Blazers than guard Brandon Roy. Roy went through dual knee surgeries last season and missed a good chunk of the season while rehabbing. But no one, not even Buchanan, apparently, knows what to expect from Roy in the future. 

In an interview with 750 AM in Portland, Buchanan admitted that he wasn't certain Roy can make it through an entire season.
We all recognize -- if you watch Game 3 and Game 4 of our playoff series -- that Brandon Roy has still got some game. We are very conscious of that. People have counted him out, but I think we all recognize that Brandon can play at a high level. Whether it's for 82 games or not? I think that's something that Brandon is still trying to figure out with his body and where he's at. I think, for our coaches and for Nate, we're trying to figure out best how to utilize him knowing his health. I think we're both asking: How is this going to work moving forward?

Brandon Roy has meant the world to this organization, he's helped resurrect our franchise, we're very appreciative of that. We have not had any discussions with Brandon about anything since the season ended. We let our guys decompress and get away from the game. We'll start to re-engage with Brandon here, making sure that he's on course for this summer to do the things he needs to do to be ready for next season.

With most players in his physical condition, the best course would simply be the patient one: wait and see what he can handle and how he performs, manage his minutes and keep a careful eye on his progress.

The Blazers owe Roy more than $68 million over the next four seasons, so there is a clear urgency factor at play, especially among fans. With starters Marcus Camby and Andre Miller winding down, and new arrival Gerald Wallace with just a few more years of prime play, the feeling is that the Blazers need a lot more from Roy than he's capable of giving.

Given his health and contract, though, he's essentially untradeable. The Blazers have another capable two guard on the roster in Wesley Matthews, but he lacks Roy's starpower. The Blazers don't have many other choices. If there's an amnesty clause they'll likely consider using it on Roy, but the temptation to hang on and hope will be very strong because of the lack of other options. Roy is committed to continuing his career, so retirement and medical retirement are out of the question.

Buchanan's honesty here reveals just how directionless this team is right now. Roy was once the pillar of the franchise, a perennial All-Star who could be counted on for consistent, reliable production. Now, even those with the most to gain for hyping him up, are taking a very cautious approach.

Reading between the lines, it could be tough times ahead for Blazers fans.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:34 am

Blazers GM: Can Brandon Roy play 82 games?

It is pretty easy to ask if a player can play 82 games since nearly none of the NBA players do, Injuries do occur to nearly all. In Brandon Roy's case the situation is fluid and unsettled. There is no point in making decisions without waiting for the evidence. The doctors know the condition of Brandon's knees. They do not know the condition of his heart. This man has the summer to reinvent his game. He has all summer to work on his outside shot. But we did see that he could play at a high level with the ball in his hands. We will see next year how he has progressed with this.

Do we need to know earlier? He still is getting paid regardless. And that might be distressing if, indeed, there is a hard cap put on salaries. Under the current system, however, the Blazers would not be better off without Brandon because they would still be over the cap and could not sign a replacement. Amnesty? So far that is a media fanstasy. There has been no information released of the new CBA (except that it is still being negotiated). Until that document has been signed by both parties and the conditions become known there is little point in pitting Blazer fans against Blazer fans in vain.

Probably the reason Chad Buchanan is the Interim General Manager is that he does not consider the effect of his words. This is almost whinning for sympathy at the tough job he has. Sorry Chad. Soon the next GM will take it off your hands and you can go back to scouting which you do well. In the meantime - put a sock in it.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:33 pm

Blazers GM: Can Brandon Roy play 82 games?

For anyone living in Portland or paying attention to Blazer news it's obvious that Paul Allen wouldn't use any amnesty clause on Brandon Roy. He's too attached, and to be honest Paul Allen just isn't smart or patient enough to realize that sometimes in order to get better you have to temporary get worse first.

If given the opportunity the Blazers would be damn fools NOT to use the amnesty on Roy if it meant clearing all that cap space. I understand that Portland doesn't attract the top free agents, but it could be used to get 2 or 3 very nice role players to rebuild the current lack of depth on this team.

Besides, Roy hurts the team more than he helps them. Sure, he will have his ocassional flash of brilliance about once every 10 games. But for those other 9 games he will simply be an extreme defensive liability and cause the Blazers to remain a team without an identity. The truth is that LaMarcus Aldridge can't help but shrink back into his shell whenever Roy is on the court. Aldridge defers to Roy, and that's a bad thing because the Blazers won't do anything moving forward until EVERYONE on the team recognizes that the team should be centered around Aldridge...NOT ROY!

The Blazers are in sad shape. And a big reason is they simply can't accept that the Roy of old is finished. Just like the can't accept that Oden was a complete bust. Still holding on to lost hope just delays ever being able to dig out of the hole.

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