Tag:Brandon Roy
Posted on: November 29, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 5:47 am
 

Bulls, Warriors interested in amnestied Roy

By Matt Moore 

Brandon Roy is all of a sudden the hottest topic on the table, all thanks to his bad knees and the NBA lockout. Roy is a candidate for the Blazers to exercise their amnesty clause on, as the Oregonian reported this week. The amnesty clause allows teams to waive a player, removing his salary from the cap and subsequent luxury tax implications, while still having to pay out the rest of his contract. Under the terms of the new CBA, an auction will be held with teams who have cap room able to bid to take on all or part of the player's contract. The winning bid counts against the new team's cap, it's believed. 

Roy, they'd be on the hook for over $68 million to pay him over the next four seasons. (We'd just like to point how monumentally stupid giving Roy this extension given their prior knowledge of his health was. $68 million. Seriously.) In 2014-2015, he's on pace to pull in $19.3 million alone. (Again, stupendously stupid.) If a team in the amnesty auction were to offer $6 million and win the bid, that $6 million would be their cap hit for Roy, while the Blazers would pay the remaining balance, without it affecting their cap.

Monday we shared a report that indicated that the Timberwolves were interested in Roy. Monday night, the Contra Costa Times reported the Warriors are also in on the hunt should the Blazers release Roy. 
But the Warriors are in the market for a veteran guard, likely at shooting guard. And a couple team sources let me know that if Brandon Roy is indeed Portland’s amnesty choice, as the Oregonian reported, the Warriors are definitely interested.
via Can You Picture Brandon Roy in a Warriors Uniform? - Inside the Warriors - with Marcus Thompson.

The reality is that no one has forgotten what Roy was capable of in 2008, nor what he did to the Mavericks in that one game in Portland before the Mavericks snuffed the life out of the Blazers' season. When healthy enough, he's able to score from everywhere on the floor, attack and nail tough jumper after tough jumper. Mark Jackson could use an experienced veteran like Roy in Golden State to set an example. But there are so many questions about Roy, because of the meniscus in his knees, or lack thereof. 

ESPN reports that the Bulls are also interested in pursuing Roy, but due to their cap situation, they would have to hope he falls through all the teams with cap room's open hands first, which is highly unlikely to occur. Roy makes a lot of sense for the Bulls, who wouldn't need him to create off the dribble and who could still fit him into their defensive system. Brandon Roy on one leg is still better than Carlos Boozer on two. 

Is Roy worth the flier to see if he can contribute? Absolutely. But he comes with an inherent risk, that he could be physically unable to compete on any given night. The first question is whether he'll be amnestied. From there, the bidding war for Roy begins. 

Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Few teams will be using their amnesty clause?

Posted by Royce Young

There's been a whole lot of talk about the amnesty clause in the new collective bargaining agreement. Mainly a lot of talk about who the clause would be used on.

Everyone has their lists going team-by-team looking at what amnesty cuts make the most sense. It's fun to fantasize about what players could get axed, where they could go and what it could mean for each team. (A refresher: The amnesty clause allows each team to make one cut and not have the player's salary count against the cap. They do have to pay him still.)

But it sounds like the amnesty might not get quite the workout that some thought it would originally. According to the New York Times, just a couple teams could be in the market of exercising it.

"I don't think there will be very many at all [who will use it]," one team executive told the Times.

That's just right away though. Most of the league will keep the amnesty in their back pocket and hold on to it for a future screw up, er, future unfavorable contract. The executive told the Times that he thinks only three to six teams will use it in 2011-12 because most have good salary cap and luxury tax situations.

Of the teams most likely to use it right away are the Blazers and Magic with Brandon Roy and Gilbert Arenas likely getting waived. Both players have big contracts and by cutting them, both the Blazers and Magic could make a significant move to get under the luxury tax line.
Brandon Roy getting cut could be an interesting situation though. Because even though his rickety knees, he's still a really good basketball player that's only 27 years old. Remember that Portland comeback against the Mavs spurned by Roy? That stuff is still in him.

So of the teams that could target him? The Timberwolves are one, according to ESPN.com.
"Blazer coaches have been advised that using provision to waive Roy is strong possibility. AND ... new Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman, I'm told, would have level of interest in signing Roy after knee fears led to Wolves' Roy/Randy Foye 2006 draft swap."

The Star Tribune added this in regards to Roy's uncertain health:

"They at least will have an inside, informed opinion: New assistant coach Bill Bayno has seen both the old and the current Brandon Roy. Bayno, just hired away from the Blazers, has seen Roy play every night since Roy came into the league."

The Wolves, as bad as they've been, have an odd amount of depth, so they could take a chance on Roy to see if he could regain his past form. And it fits the David Kahn model of acquiring talent despite there not being really a rhyme or reason to it. Just get players; don't think about where they might fit.

Maybe a new location would be good for Roy. His situation in Portland has been contentious for a while now and with the team's frustrating injury history, a fresh start could be a really good thing for both sides.

Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Jamal Crawford says Blazers' interest is mutual

Posted by Ben Golliverjamal-crawford-hawks

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been openly recruiting free agent guard Jamal Crawford for weeks. On Sunday, Aldridge capped off that recruitment by hosting Crawford's official visit to Portland during the Rip City Basketball Classic charity game, held at the University of Portland's Chiles Center. s

Aldridge's plan had been carefully laid. Two weeks ago, he urged Blazers fans on Twitter to make Crawford "feel at home so he will sign with us!" Shortly thereafter, Miami Heat forward LeBron James began his own recruitment of Crawford, prompting Aldridge to write to James: "How are you going to try and steal Jamal Crawford from us?! I already told Portland to make him feel at home on the 6th."

Later, he told The Oregonian that the recruitment wasn't just a social media stunt.

"I would love for him to come play in Portland," Aldridge told the paper. "I put it out there so he knows I'm serious. If he really wants to do that, I wanted him to know I'm behind it." 

Aldridge even went so far as to stack the rosters so that Crawford would line up alongside Aldridge and fellow Blazers Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews. All that work paid off.

During pre-game warm-ups on Sunday night, Crawford told CBSSports.com that the Blazers' interest in him is mutual.

"Yeah, definitely," Crawford said. "I've been watching the Blazers so long with Brandon [Roy] being one of my best friends. With LaMarcus here, Wes and Ray, it's almost close to a hometown team. I'm from Seattle. It's the closest thing we have to baketball right now." 

Crawford, 31, averaged 14.2 points and 3.2 assists for the Atlanta Hawks last season and was named the NBA's sixth man in 2010. The Hawks, after dishing out big dollar deals to guard Joe Johnson and big man Al Horford, and with forward Josh Smith on the books for big money already, opted not to offer Crawford an extension. 

"I think I would bring a little bit of everything to Portland," Crawford said. "Scoring, creating for other people. Trying to make the game easier for my teammates... I think they're a team on the rise."

That assessment was right in line with Aldridge's thought process. 

"He's a really good player," Aldridge told The Oregonian. "He doesn't mind coming off the bench. Or starting. He can bring a different dynamic to the team. He's great at pick and rolls; he's a really good shooter. When I get double teamed, it would leave him open in the corner."

Portland's backcourt currently includes Felton, who pencils in as the starting point guard, rookie Nolan Smith, who will likely be his backup and Patty Mills and Armon Johnson, who are expected to battle for third-string honors. At two guard, Matthews stepped into a starting role last year as Roy underwent dual knee surgeries but Roy promised to fight for his starting spot during exit interviews. It's possible, though, that the Blazers would use the Amnesty Clause to waive Roy. Sophomore Elliot Williams, who missed all of the 2010-2011 season after knee surgeries, is also on the roster.

"Starting, coming off the bench, it doesn't really matter to me," Crawford said.

With both Roy and Matthews locked into long-term deals, and with the Blazers stuck in the luxury tax last season, it's difficult to imagine they will have sufficient money to pay Crawford or minutes available to play him if Roy remains on the roster. Despite the roster jam and money drain, Crawford said that he felt that he and Roy could actually play in the same backcourt together, with Crawford defending point guards and Roy defending off guards.

"We've always talked about that," Crawford said. "We play together in the summer all the time, so we've always talked about that."
 
Aldridge's home team took home a 164-157 win in Sunday night's exhibition, with Crawford throwing down a put-back dunk in the final minute to secure the victory. Crawford finished with 18 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, a block and a steal. He drew plenty of cheers from the sold out crowd of 5,000 fans. Roy, who was scheduled to play, did not attend the game, and Aldridge said that Roy was absent because he was attending to a family matter.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 3:11 pm
 

7 lost stories from canceled NBA preseason

Posted by Ben Golliver

silver-stern-2

On Friday, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported the dreadful news that we've all been fearing: the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have failed to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time, meaning training camp and portions of the preseason schedule have been indefinitely postponed and/or canceled.

Preseason is always a fun time of the NBA calendar, guaranteed to be chockfull of "Player X added 15 pounds of muscle" and "Lottery team Y finally seems poised for a playoff push" stories. Of course, no preseason means no preseason stories. No hype, no hope. More Adam Silver, more David Stern. What a bummer. 

So here's a rundown of seven stories you would have been reading had the NBA and the NBPA gotten their collective act together in time to save the schedule. These stories are lost everywhere, except for here.

1. Security Detains Eddy Curry Outside AmericanAirlines Arena

MIAMI -- It appears that Eddy Curry will not be joining the Miami Heat after all.

Following nearly a year of reports indicating that Curry had lost an NBA-record 468 pounds since he was released by the Minnesota Timberwolves at least year's trade deadline, the free agent center was forcibly removed from AmericanAirlines Arena property by a cadre of four security guards on Tuesday. The use of force was deemed necessary after direct requests to leave from Heat president Pat Riley and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra were not heeded. 

"We didn't want to do it but we really had no choice," said Joseph Watkins, the guard assigned to carry Curry's left leg. "I was just following orders."

"What can I say? I got my hopes up," Curry explained. "I kept reading over and over that Miami was interested in me and I thought I could help LeBron [James] win a ring finally. I thought they would change their mind if I showed I was determined. I guess they wanted to go a different direction."

After the trimmed-down center had been dragged to an auxiliary parking lot, Riley briefly asked a reporter who Curry was before returning to the Heat's training session, which was closed to the media. When practice broke, Spoelstra indicated that the defending Eastern Conference champions were comfortable with their center rotation of Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Dexter Pittman, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, and Bill Wennington, and are not in the market for another big man.

"We like our guys," Spoelstra said.

Curry told the Associated Press that he isn't sure when or where his next basketball opportunity will come but did indicate that he would like to have the plastic handcuffs removed from his wrists, or at least loosened, as soon as possible.

2. Bloody Prank Signals Rift Between Thunder Stars?

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- A severed head was discovered inside a backpack belonging to Kevin Durant on Friday.

The Thunder's All-Star forward pulled the ghoulish, plastic mask -- which bore an uncanny resemblance to coach Scottie Brooks and had been doused in ketchup to simulate the appearance of blood -- out of his signature carry-all following an evening workout. With a look of bewilderment, Durant tossed the mask into a nearby trash can before returning to the team's practice court to work on his free throw shooting.

"I'm just out here trying to get better," Durant said, shrugging off his unsettling discovery.

It's not yet known who placed the mask in Durant's backpack, although suspicion was immediately cast upon Russell Westbrook. The mercurial guard led the NBA in postseason technical fouls in 201, rarely passes the ball because he's so self-involved and sometimes has a "funny look" -- according to multiple teammates -- in his eyes. Center Kendrick Perkins apparently implicated Westbrook in the incident when he stormed out of the practice facility, repeatedly yelling the words, "I told y'all! I told y'all!" 

The incident raises anew the question of whether Oklahoma City's two All-Stars will be capable of coexisting as their careers and games develop.

"Halloween is Monday," Westbrook said, cryptically, before rushing a free-throw extended jump shot and completely hurdling teammate Eric Maynor to claim the offensive rebound.

Thunder president Sam Presti did not offer an alibi for himself, but what else is new?

3. Rivers: More Needed From Rondo For Green To Succeed

BOSTON -- Nine months after the most controversial trade in recent Boston Celtics history, coach Doc Rivers continued to defend forward Jeff Green from media criticism.

A lightly sprained ankle for starting center Jermaine O'Neal caused local sports talk radio hosts and callers to go into hysterics on Monday, rehashing the ill-fated swap that brought Green to Boston in exchange for starting center Kendrick Perkins, who was sent to Oklahoma City.

"Jeff is still getting acclimated, and [president] Danny [Ainge] and I still believe he will be a key piece for us," Rivers said.

During the portion of practice open to the media, Green dribbled the ball off of his foot, missed three three-pointers, was late on two defensive assignments and appeared to frustrate aging forward Kevin Garnett, who was seen shaking his head sadly rather than barking instructions like usual.

When pressed, Rivers said that the eventual solution to what he called Green's "learning curve issues" will have to come from All-Star starting point guard Rajon Rondo.

"Rondo gets him wide open jumpers, wide open lay-ups, makes 10 plays a game defensively, and he leads by example," Rivers said. "But I have eyes, you have eyes. You can see it. It's clearly not enough. We're looking for Rondo to keep leading and to do even more, to carry all of us. [But] especially Jeff."

Pausing for a moment, Rivers, to the surprise of the media present, chose to vividly underscore his previous point.

"I don't care if Rondo dislocates both of his elbows at the same time so his arms are hanging off of his body backwards, he will need to carry Jeff."

Asked to respond to Rivers' comments, Rondo stared ahead blankly, as always.

4. Greg Oden No-Shows At Day One Of Blazers Camp

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Once again, the gym is full of NBA players and hopefuls.  Once again, the biggest one among them is missing.

The Portland Trail Blazers opened training camp to the media for the first time on Monday, only to reveal that center Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, was nowhere to be found. Oden, who signed a 5-year, $70 million extension during the early-October free agency period, has played just 82 games in his 4-year NBA career and has rarely been available to the media since suffering his most recent in Nov. 2010.

Through a spokesperson, Blazers president Larry Miller refused to comment about Oden's status, leaving new GM Brandon Roy -- who was promoted to the position after Miller used the amnesty clause to rid the Blazers of the four years remaining on his contract -- to face the media scrutiny alone. Roy said the team would not rush its center back to the court, noting that Oden's recovery from microfracture knee surgery was still "on schedule," although he did not divulge further specifics.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan looked irritated by the questions. "I've got 18 guys here fighting hard to grab one of our roster spots, let's talk about them," McMillan said.

Mike Conley, Sr., Oden's agent, offered a possible explanation by email. "Rehabilitation has kept Greg off the court for almost a year. During that time, in addition to completing a multi-disciplinary strength and flexibility training program, Greg has worked hard on improving and honing his invisibility. I'm pleased to hear that his work has evidently paid off. How many 7-footers do you know that can literally disappear in the blink of an eye? We feel this will make him even more valuable in the years to come."

Oden's whereabouts are not currently known at this time. His status for Portland's season opener is also up in the air.

"We'll just have to see," said McMillan.

Or not.

5. Kings Guard Completes First Pass

SACRAMENTO -- Kings coach Paul Westphal couldn't help but beam. After all, he had just witnessed an important milestone for his young team.

"I've been preaching unselfishness and ball movement all week and it was great to finally see these guys take that message to heart and execute it," Westphal said, his shirt soaked with sweat.

After back-to-back-back two-a-day practices and a morning session that yielded no progress, Jimmer Fredette became the team's first guard to complete a pass during scrimmage play on Thursday night. Prior to the pass, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and free agent signing Jamal Crawford had each managed to take a shot, draw a foul or commit a turnover on all of their possessions. Meanwhile, rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas, arguably the team's best playmaker on paper, left the practice facility on Tuesday after being frozen out for 263 straight trips up the court and hasn't been heard from since. A team official assured CBSSports.com that the organization is "not alarmed."

Fredette's pass occurred when he inadvertently took the ball out of bounds following a made basket by Evans. Looking confused, and with no other option other than committing a five-second violation, Fredette reluctantly inbounded the ball to Thornton, who promptly dribbled coast-to-coast, only to have his running lay-up attempt swatted out of bounds by center DeMarcus Cousins. Westphal shouted encouragement -- "That's what I'm talking about!" -- and blew his whistle, briefly stopping practice to single out Fredette for praise.

"It was nothing, really," Fredette said, afterwards, looking a touch sheepish.

6. Adelman Closes Practices To Timberwolves Executives

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Two hours after a minor shouting match erupted between Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and president David Kahn on Monday, the two men pledged publicly that they had put the matter behind them.

"Direct communication is integral to creating a winning atmosphere," Kahn told a group of reporters on Monday afternoon. "Rick and I exchanged ideas, as we often do, and we were able to come to a resolution that is amenable to both parties. We thank you for your interest but this matter has been resolved. We look forward to a successful year."

The dispute, two league sources said, began when Adelman chided Kahn for openly cheering for rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, while wearing a Rubio jersey, in front of the entire team. That exchange escalated when Adelman decided to play veteran Luke Ridnour with the starting unit, instead of Rubio, prompting Kahn to yell loudly, "Come on!" 

According to the sources, Adelman then threatened to quit on the spot, issuing a "you go or I go" ultimatum just weeks after formally accepting the position and signing a 4-year contract.

"This is my team and I make the coaching decisions," Adelman told reporters bluntly after practice. "That's it. Any other questions?"

The resolution, according to sources, will keep Kahn and other team executives off the practice court for the rest of training camp, although indications are that Kahn and Adelman have agreed to revisit the matter once the regular season begins.

Rubio, who competed for the Spanish national team at this summer's EuroBasket tournament, finished Monday's scrimmage with 0 points and two assists in 37 minutes.

7. Thibodeau Thanks Fans, Admits They Could Be Right

CHICAGO -- The Bulls held an intra-squad scrimmage at the United Center on Friday, allowing fans and season ticket holders the rare opportunity to watch the team go through its paces free of charge.

NBA MVP Derrick Rose drew the loudest cheers and the longest line of pre-game admirers, Luol Deng pledged $10,000 to charity at halftime, and new free agent signing J.R. Smith, who bought his own way out of a one-year contract he signed to play in China, autographed a diehard fan's neck with a tattoo gun. But the clear highlight of the festivities came when the NBA's reigning Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau, took a microphone at center court just before tipoff to thank Bulls fans for their loyal support during the team's run to the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals.

"You guys are the best fans in the league," Thibodeau said, to wild applause. "We hear you loud and clear every night. You give us a true home court advantage and we, all of us, from me to the players, appreciate it."

Seemingly overwhelmed by the extended standing ovation he received, Thibodeau shuffled quickly to the sideline before catching himself and returning to the microphone to offer a final thought.

"Just to let you know," the defensive mastermind continued, "We also hear you loud and clear about Carlos Boozer."

The simple mention of the power forward's name elicited instinctive and ravenous booing from the fans, who were in no mood to forgive Boozer's disappointing showing in the 2011 NBA Playoffs and the team's controversial decision not to use the Amnesty Clause to shed his massive contract during free agency.

"Yes, we've received thousands of letters, text messages, phone calls and emails. For the sanity of Illinois' hard-working postal workers, please stop sending them. We understand that you think he is soft, that he isn't good enough to be a No. 2 guy, and that he isn't clutch enough to put us over the top against Miami."

Here, the second-year head coach drew a breath and exhaled, the long, lonely nights in his office preparing schemes and reading the fan correspondence clearly weighing upon his heart.

"Look, you're probably right about all of it. But how the hell are we going to trade him?"

Boozer, who mysteriously broke his hand for the second consecutive offseason, was not medically cleared to play in the scrimmage and was not available to provide a statement. Nobody noticed or cared.

Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 10:21 am
 

Brandon Roy doesn't think JET can guard him

By Matt Moore

For more on Brandon Roy, check out our interview with him from this weekend's event in Seattle. 

Brandon Roy is injured. Despite telling CBSSports.com over the weekend that he's finally pain free, he's always going to be "injured" to a degree because of the condition of his knees. He's gone through physical and emotional hell over the last year in dealing with the realities of his knees.

One thing that has not suffered, though, is his confidence. Roy's not only still confident that he can be the Roy of old, he's calling out (and then saying he's not calling out) players that are able to stay on the court. From the Oregonian:
"I can still create off the dribble," Roy warned. "I still think you are crazy to put a guy who can't guard on me. You'll get exposed all night. So I don't want to get away from that.

"But I have to get in a position again where the team believes enough in me to make me a threat," Roy said. "I don't have to be The Guy, but just a focal point again, to where -- not to knock a player -- but if Jason Terry is guarding me, then my team can believe I can expose that matchup. That's part of getting my confidence back to where I can give confidence back to Coach and the organization."
via No promises, says Brandon Roy, but doubt him at your own risk | OregonLive.com

Roy likely chose to single out Terry because of the success that he had against the Mavericks ... in one game. Roy's comeback game in Portland seemed like a miracle moment, a reckoning of all those who doubted that Roy could come back. Then Roy went back to being the 9.3 points per game scorer he was during that playoff series before the Mavericks booted the Blazers back home. Terry, it should be noted, went on to guard LeBron James and do it pretty effectively in the Finals. 

Roy's not trying to be overly antagonistic; he really does think he's that much better than Terry. But he could learn a thing or two from JET. Terry manages to understand his role while also playing to his strengths. He recognizes his place on the team but contributes in a huge way and sitll gets headlines.

Maybe if Roy had learned to trust and rely on LaMarcus Aldridge earlier in his career, he wouldn't have had to carry the load as much. But what-ifs are no use. Roy is who he is, and that won't change, physically or mentally. This will be his approach.

No matter what, he'll go down swinging.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 3:20 am
Edited on: July 24, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Healthy, hopeful Roy sits out charity game

Posted by Ben Golliverbrandon-roy-seatle

SEATTLE -- Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy was listed Saturday as the headliner in the H206 charity game at KeyArena, but the only time he spent on the court was to don a pointy hat -- it was his 27th birthday -- and to proudly hold up an oversized novelty check.  

For fans and observers, seeing Roy in street clothes has become a familiar sight. Roy, the University of Washington product, played just 47 games during the 2010-2011 season, sitting out a portion of it to assess the options on his surgically repaired knees before undergoing an arthroscopic surgery and PRP injection on both of his knees in January. 

It wasn't an injury Saturday that sidelined Roy, though. It was simply the threat of injury. 

"I'm disappointed [that I didn't get to play]," Roy said after the exhibition, in which a team comprised of NBA players from Seattle soundly defeated a team representing the rest of the NBA. "But at the same time I knew I wasn't going to get an 'OK' to play. It's kind of an 'at your own risk' thing. My situation was different, especially coming off of the knee injury from last year. Even though I wanted to play, I just had to make the smart decision."

Roy, a native of Seattle, brought his family to the event, sitting on the home team's bench while his wife and children sat courtside. The exhibition was played in front of thousands of vocal fans, many of whom wore the jerseys of the former Seattle SuperSonics. With the help of his son and daughter, Roy presented the oversized check to A Plus Youth Program, an organization that focuses on developing basketball and academic skills among area children. After the game, Philadelphia 76ers big man Spencer Hawes led a group chant of "Come Home, Sonics." 

"I think it was great for the city," Roy said. "I think it was fun to sit down on the bench again, hearing the fans yell and scream. I remember my first couple of years here, Ray Allen made shots, it was really loud here. I miss the Sonics, I know the fans do, we all want to see a team back here."

Just as fans want to see professional basketball back in Seattle, they want to see Roy back playing at his All-Star level. He flashed streaks of brilliance during a first-round playoff series loss to the Dallas Mavericks, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory in Game 4, in which he scored 24 points. But those exhilarating highs were met with lots of painful lows. Hampered by the knee injuries, Roy lost his starting spot and wound up playing a career-low in minutes. His 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists were all well off his career numbers.

It's unclear whether Roy will be able to fully return to form, but he said Saturday that his offseason workout routine has progressed without a setback.

"I'm doing good, I'm doing great," Roy said. "Working out, keeping my weight down. And starting to play a little basketball this week. Enjoying the summer, really trying to take my time and keep improving. I'm healthy. I'm in a position where I'm not battling any soreness or anything, so I feel like I can start improving, getting better with my game. I'm excited."

Roy said he is lifting weights, getting shots up and playing in some light games, with plans to increase that workload like usual as the summer progresses.

"I'll start turning it up more, playing more competitively, as we get into August," Roy said. "Really no room for it now. Really just trying to fine-tune some things and just get better. I'm excited that I'm not in any pain and I can just play and not have any pressure in having to deal with the knees, just go out there and hoop."

He noted that his workouts are taking place in Seattle rather than Portland because of the ongoing NBA lockout, which bans players from team facilities.

"I have gyms here that I go to," he said. "In Portland, I go into the facility, but we can't do that now, so I'm spending most of my time up here right now."

While fans and analysts have speculated that a shortened schedule could play to Roy's advantage by limiting the wear and tear on his knees, Roy said his preference is that the season starts on time.

"I've been watching the football lockout more than anything," Roy said. "Now that they are kind of wrapping up, we'll see where ours is at. Hopefully there's no [work stoppage], guys want to play basketball, guys want to get back out on the court. Personally I can't wait to get back out there and play again. Hopefully [the] lockout doesn't go until we miss any games or any preseason, hopefully we can get back on track. I thought the season ended really well this year with what Dallas did and [the league is] in a good position. So hopefully we don't have to miss any games."

But will that happen?

"Honestly, I have no idea," Roy said.
Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 10:23 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Northwest Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Northwest Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

ricky-rubio

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division, the Atlantic Division, the Central Division and the Southwest Division. Let's continue with the Northwest Division.  

MINNESOTA Timberwolves


The NBA's worst team won just 17 games last year, had the league's seventh-worst home attendance and is generally mentioned at the top of the list of examples that "prove" the NBA's economic system is broken. That's because their local television, ticket and memorabilia revenue simply cannot compete with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics of the world. Despite all of that, the Timberwolves might very well have more to lose than any other team in the Northwest Division if the league were to miss an entire season.

Let's start with 2009 lottery pick Ricky Rubio, who against all odds took the plunge and decided to finally join up with Minnesota. For multiple seasons, Rubio has represented hope, carrying Timberwolves fans through ugly winters and late-season collapses. The wait was excruciating. The uncertainty about whether he would or wouldn't stay in Europe further into the future made it worse. Now that he's on board, he's been greeted at an airport, introduced to his teammates, sold some jerseys and rallied the collective fan spirit a bit. To lose an entire season would make that interminable wait that much longer. It would also rob Rubio of a valuable development and acclimation year, which would be an absolute disaster. This is a point guard who needs to start on Day 1, entrusted with the full support of his coaching staff and allowed to make mistakes and build chemistry with his teammates while learning on the job. No season means no opportunity to do any of that.

Aside from Rubio, there are financial risks as well. That might be surprising, because the Timberwolves currently are the only team in the NBA that does not have anyone on their books for more than $6.3 million next season, a fairly astonishing accomplishment. Of course, there's a catch: All-Star power forward Kevin Love is on his rookie deal. Indeed, Love is heading into the last pure season of his rookie deal before Minnesota either must issue him a qualifying offer or sign him to an extension. Worse yet, it's possible that Love, one of the league's premier rebounders, will command a mini-max extension or close to it. The point here? He's set to make just $4.6 million next season, a bargain for his production. If the season is lost, the Timberwolves miss out completely on that outstanding value and are one year closer to biting the bullet on extending him without having reaped full benefits. That's tough.

Last but not least, a lost season is the perfect excuse for any franchise to delay tough decisions or to talk themselves into trying to make things work. With an imbalanced roster full of mixed and matched pieces, the Timberwolves, despite their accumulated talent, are going to struggle mightly again next season. The pains of those struggles, theoretically, could be enough to finally convince owner Glen Taylor to pull the plug on president David Kahn, a man who hasn't shown the ability to construct a team and outright wasted two second round draft picks on technical mistakes during the 2011 NBA Draft, by trading a hurt player (Jonny Flynn) and drafting someone who lied about his age (Tanguy Ngombo). A year without games, then, is a year without losses, which means another year for Kahn to preach patience and wiggle out of responsibility for this mess. The sooner Kahn is gone, the sooner this ship turns around. A lost season will make "sooner" feel like never.

OKLAHOMA CITY Thunder

While the Timberwolves need to get headed in the right direction, the Oklahoma City Thunder are already there. With the best designed roster in the league, two young All-Stars, an undisputed Northwest Division title and a Western Conference Finals appearance under their belt already, and a passionate fanbase that is guaranteed to provide 40+ home sellouts next season, the Thunder would happily start the season today. A lost season, then, would be a nightmare.

Name something, anything, and it's at risk for the Thunder. They lose the value of Russell Westbrook playing on a rookie deal. They lose the value of James Harden on a rookie deal. They lose the value of Serge Ibaka on a rookie deal. They lose one year of Kevin Durant's Hall of Fame playing career. They lose another season of playoff experience. They lose a very good chance at making a run at an NBA Finals. They lose a season of having their top eight players (Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefalosha, Nick Collison, Eric Maynor) all locked into affordable contracts. They lose the chemistry and momentum that goes with having an entire nucleus together for multiple years.

What's worse: they have nothing to gain from a work stoppage, other than perhaps the money that would come with increased revenue sharing. Without a single bad or untradeable contract on their books, there is no financial reason OKC would root for a year away from the game. In fact, any change to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that firms up the cap would make it more difficult for the Thunder to keep all this talent in house. That means they wouldn't get the chance to win now and their ability to win later could be compromised.

Usually, young teams that make a deep run through the playoffs can't wait to get back on the court for a second go-around. Multiply that feeling by about 10 and that's the situation facing OKC. 

PORTLAND Trail Blazers

lockoutYou might think the injury-plagued Trail Blazers would welcome some time off to lick their wounds and assess the damage, but missing an entire NBA season wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for this franchise. Really, it's a muddled picture.

The main benefit is clear: the Blazers have a very difficult cap situation next season, thanks to a mini-max contract for guard Brandon Roy, who is apparently no longer capable of reaching his previous All-Star level of play. Saving the $15 million owed to Roy, as well as the $10.5 million owed to aging center Marcus Camby, would be a tempting proposition for most small-market owners. Money aside, saving the miles on Roy's knees wouldn't hurt either.

Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, however, has dealt with serious health problems in recent years and is clearly in spend-big, win-now mode. He would cut a check tomorrow for five times his team's total salary cap if it meant a shot at the NBA Finals, no questions asked. It's difficult to imagine a financial enticement that would make it worth Allen's while to take a year off. 

Aside from Roy, the other big question is center Greg Oden. Missing an entire NBA season doesn't play in Oden's favor, as he hasn't taken the court for an NBA game since December 2009. A lost season means his layoff would extend nearly three full years to October 2012. That's a long, long time to be away from basketball. Complicating that further for the Blazers is the fact that Oden is a restricted free agent this summer. The Blazers would retain matching rights on Oden if a season was lost but they would be forced to offer him an extension without being able to see whether he recovers fully to be able to take the court and, more importantly, withstand injury once he's out there. Oden could command a mid-level type of offer on the open market, which would be a major investment for Portland, because the Blazers have already committed to nearly $80 million in salary for next season, with contracts to Roy, forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace and guard Wesley Matthews already on the books into the future. Without another center on their roster who is in their long-term plans, though, the Blazers wouldn't have a choice. They'd have to pay up. Given that situation, you want as much information as possible; a lost season would mean no information.

Finally, the Blazers have a big question at the starting point guard position. His name is Raymond Felton, and he was acquired in a draft day trade for previous point guard Andre Miller. Felton is in a contract year and hasn't played meaningful minutes with any of his current teammates, except for a stint in Charlotte with Wallace. Felton will require a good-sized contract extension next summer as well and the Blazers would surely like to see how he gels with their core, particularly Aldridge, before they commit to him long-term. Without any starting quality options on the roster, they would again find themselves stuck in a corner, forced to do what it takes to retain Felton without a readily available back-up plan.

To boil it down: the Blazers have enough questions without a lost season. Missing a full season would simply create an array of complications and made some tough roster decisions that much more difficult and, potentially, costly. 

DENVER Nuggets

Sure, the Denver Nuggets lost franchise forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, but they did an excellent job of stripping their roster down to allow for a quick bounceback rebuilding effort. The Nuggets, somewhat like the Thunder, are in a financial position where their salary cap situation makes it more advantageous for next season to take place unhindered. The Nuggets currently don't have a truly horrible contract on their books, although the mid-level deal for Al Harrington and the $15 million or so left to be paid to Chris Andersen over the next three years are regrettable. Indeed, the Nuggets have committed to less than $40 million in salary for next season, pending a potentially major financial commitment to big man Nene, who has decided to test the free agency waters, and a decision on guard J.R. Smith.

The biggest risks for Denver would be missing out on the value of point guard Ty Lawson on his rookie deal and managing whatever concerns might arise about Denver's ability to use its salary cap flexibility to continue work on its rebuilding situation. Most analysts believe teams with salary cap room will be in a position of strength, regardless of how the new CBA shakes out, so perhaps that uncertainty is more of an annoyance than a true concern. 

The Nuggets have a lot of questions. How will they spend their money? Who will they bring back? Who will they let go? Are the players under contract currently good enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference next year or is it better to continue slashing and burning for another season? These are good questions to have because they all point to one fundamental truth: The Nuggets have flexibility thanks to their young, cheap assets. The worst case scenario is that Nuggets fans have to wait a year to watch a promising, athletic upstart group entertain. That's not too bad. 
 
UTAH Jazz

If I'm the Jazz, I'm totally cool with taking a year off. A lost season means that Utah would save $14 million owed to Al Jefferson, $10.9 million owed to Mehmet Okur, $9.3 million owed to Devin Harris and $8.1 million owed to Paul Millsap. While Millsap is probably worth his number, the other three certainly aren't worth theirs, especially on a team that lost its foundational identity when it shipped franchise point guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline.

Right now, Utah's finances are pretty tight, with $61.5 million already committed for 2011-2012. Look ahead just one year, though, and that number drops to $48.7 million. To make things even nicer, Jefferson, Harris and Millsap will all be expiring that season. The Jazz will be poised to take advantage of their new-found flexibility, keeping the parts that fit (probably only Millsap) and dispensing with the rest.

The biggest risk in a cancelled season for Utah would be the lost development for younger guys like Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and 2011 first-round picks Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. In Favors, they have a potential franchise forward who needs to start enjoying a loose leash so he can blossom into the player the Jazz expect him to be. Forcing him to take a year off does him no good and, depending on how he responds, could do him some harm. Kanter, meanwhile, looks like an even bigger risk on paper because he was forced to sit out last year at Kentucky, his only year at the college level, due to eligibility issues and because he hasn't yet tasted the NBA game. A lost season would mean two full years away from competitive basketball, not an ideal situation for someone the Jazz selected with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft. As for Hayward and Burks, they are lesser concerns. Both have shown promise and clearly have room for improvement. Losing a year wouldn't be critical, but it would be better for them individually if it could be prevented.

On balance, the financial rewards seem to outweigh the development risks for the Jazz.

Salary numbers courtesy of StoryTeller's Contracts.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:41 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 12:46 am
 

Report: Kobe Bryant underwent PRP therapy on knee

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reportedly underwent platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy in his ailing knee. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-bryant

Over the last six months or so, we've been tracking any and all news related to the health and wellbeing of Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.  

Back in May, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said that Bryant had an irreversible cartilage problem in his surgically repaired right knee. In January, Bryant said his knee was "almost bone-on-bone." 

Interestingly, Vitti noted in May that the Lakers "know all the procedures all around the world that are available to him, and the appropriate decisions will be made."

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports that Bryant underwent one of those procedures in Germany recently.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has taken an unusual step to try to strengthen his ailing right knee, undergoing an innovative procedure in Germany about a month ago, according to four people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The treatment is called platelet-rich plasma therapy. PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee and are viewed as either an emerging solution to knee problems or a financial gamble on unproven science.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy has undergone PRP therapy in his hamstring as well as both knees. Roy has questioned the effectiveness of the procedure and the medical community is not totally sold that PRP therapy by itself is effective.

PRP therapy injects a patient's blood into the area of concern to try to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. It doesn't require an extended time away from physical activity and is quick and easy to undergo.

As of right now, players in the position that Bryant and Roy are in seem to think, "Why not? Worth a shot. I've got nothing to lose."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com