7/6/2012 10:02:00 AM
The former All-Star is on his way to Minneapolis to start his much-anticipated
comeback in the same city his career nearly began seven years ago.
There are quite a few reasons why the Minnesota Timberwolves haven't made the
playoffs since 2004 and most of them involve personnel decisions made by the
One of the most egregious Kevin McHale miscues can be traced back to draft
night in 2006 when the Wolves made the prudent decision to draft Roy with the
sixth overall pick. That moment of clarity by the tortured Minnesota hierarchy
was short-lived, however, and McHale quickly traded Roy to Portland for the
seventh overall selection, Randy Foye.
The rest is history and has haunted the Wolves for years. Foye never developed
into anything more than a competent NBA player and never touched the heights
that Roy reached in Rip City.
Roy was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2007 and while he was no Kevin Garnett
or Kobe Bryant, he developed into a bit of a fixture at the NBA All-Star Game,
representing the Trail Blazers three straight years before his balky knees
caught up to him in 2011.
One of the reasons McHale made his ill-fated decision back in '06 was his
concern over Roy's knees, and by January 2011 the wingman underwent
arthroscopic surgery on both, which held off the inevitable for a short time.
The Seattle native returned to the Portland lineup in late February of that
year and took on a reserve role for the rest of the season.
Extra rest fueled by the NBA lockout proved to be no tonic for Roy and just
before training camps were scheduled to open last season, he announced that
his knees had degenerated so much that he was retiring from basketball.
Following the announcement, Portland used its amnesty clause on Roy and his
time in the Pacific Northwest was over.
His time in the NBA, however, was not. In hindsight that should be no
surprise. A throwback of sorts, the 27-year-old Roy has always been a
competitor, the kind of warrior who was never going to turn down an
opportunity to get back on the hardwood.
Roy's ticket back to the NBA came in the form of a German-engineered blood
spinning procedure called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, which
rejuvenated his knees. Bryant and star athletes from other sports like Alex
Rodriguez, Fred Couples and Tiger Woods have undergone similar treatments and
raved about them.
With Roy back in play, Dallas, Golden State, Minnesota, Indiana and Chicago,
perhaps remembering his exploits in Portland, all expressed some interest but
the Timberwolves, a team on the rise and looking to make a push toward the
postseason in 2013, put on the full-court press.
Owner Glen Taylor, president of basketball operations David Kahn, coach Rick
Adelman, and trainer Greg Farnam all went to visit with Roy and his agent in
Seattle and hammered out a two-year, $10.4 million deal which will provide
Minnesota some protection in case Roy's knees fail again.
The Wolves understand Roy is now probably best-suited as a sixth man who plays
about 20-25 minutes per game and will not put much pressure on him. In fact,
Adelman is expecting nothing more than for Roy to come in and offer a veteran
presence to compliment All-Star power forward Kevin Love and emerging point
guard Ricky Rubio.
So seven years after Roy should have made his debut in the Twin Cities, he will
finally call Target Center home come November. And the Wolves will almost
assuredly taste postseason basketball again because of it.