All Access: Roy Begins Wolves Workouts

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Brandon Roy admits it took a moment to fully absorb his new surroundings. During his first week training with the Timberwolves' staff in Minnesota, Roy—who spent five years in Portland before taking last year off because of his knees—felt a little different wearing the Wolves’ colors.

“It’s funny, I was sitting in the locker room today and they got me my shoes and it was weird I’m going from red and white to blue and white,” Roy said. “A little different but I got used to it fast.”

One thing was evident during his Thursday workout at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center: Roy might be wearing a new uniform this year, but his shooting looks like the Brandon Roy of old.

Roy worked out with Wolves player development coach David Adelman on Thursday, primarily executing jumpshot exercises that focus on emulating motion without the ball similar to what the Timberwolves run in their offensive sets. Roy worked out alongside guard Malcolm Lee, and during his session he showed the same touch that made him a scoring force and a clutch performer during his first five years in the league.

Whether he was moving around simulated screens or pulling up for a midrange jumper, Roy looked like he was prepared to begin his NBA comeback.

“What I see from his ball-handling and shooting-wise it’s kind of what you’d expect, which is very high level,” Adelman said. “He’s one of the better shooters I’ve ever seen.”

The challenge for Roy between now and Oct. 10 when the Wolves open up the preseason against Indiana in Fargo is patience. He continues to focus on his shooting and working to improve his conditioning during his first weeks in Minnesota, the type of physical work typically associated with training camp sessions. But as a player who hasn’t played an NBA game since April 28, 2011, there are moments when Roy simply can’t wait to get back into the game.

“Talking with the coaching staff, they just want me to be patient. They say relax and continue to build on each week,” Roy said. “That’s my biggest thing right now, is just understanding that the NBA season is about a month away and I just have to continue to grow and get better every day.”

Roy said he’s worked on his shooting all summer, and moving without the ball is part of his game he’s hoping to improve heading into 2012-13. He said the Wolves coaching staff wants him to not only be able to drive but also get himself in position to take open looks within the team’s offense.

During his workouts last week, he worked on his cuts, learned offensive reads and got familiar with some of the shots he will likely get in game action.

He said it’s been beneficial to work with the player development staff, which has caught him up to speed with what the Timberwolves plan to do offensively heading into this season.

From Adelman’s standpoint, working with Roy has been a breeze. He said if Roy is healthy, there are no questions about the type of contribution he can bring to Minnesota. He’s a career 46.0 percent shooter from the field and averaged 19.0 points per game during his first five years.

“You’re talking about a guy who can shoot it in every possible way off the dribble, on the block, threes, on the move, whatever,” Adelman said. “It’s really fun to watch. He’s always had a solid handle. He doesn’t over-dribble, but he dribbles with purpose.”

During his first few days in Minnesota, the excitement in Roy’s voice about his return is easy to hear. He said he’s missed so much about the NBA—not just the game itself, but the camaraderie with his teammates and the thrill of putting on his own jersey.

Even in early September, putting on practice gear and getting out on the court was a big deal. A year ago, Roy didn’t know if he’d ever get the chance to play again. Now, he’s got a chance to continue his career.

“Every day you walk in and you see your uniform there, a smile comes to my face,” Roy said. “Just meeting everybody: The equipment guys, talking with the coaches and just getting back in this process is really great for me. There was a chance I wouldn’t play basketball again, so to be back in the NBA in these facilities and working with the guys is a dream come true for me.”

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