Get To Know: Brandon Roy
Editor’s Note: Throughout August, Timberwolves.com will profile each of the new members of the Wolves’ roster. Part 6 takes a look at three-time All-Star Brandon Roy, who returned from a year off to sign with the Timberwolves on July 31.
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Weight: 211 pounds
Drafted: 2006: First round, sixth by Minnesota
Experience: 5 years
Position: Shooting guard
How Acquired: The Timberwolves signed Brandon Roy on July 31 as a free agent.
Past Experience: Roy is returning to the NBA this season after spending last year away from the game. After five standout years in Portland, Roy stepped away from basketball due to chronic knee pain that sidelined his career. After taking the season off and undergoing an injection procedure that relieves pain, subsides swelling and allows an athlete’s ailing joints to recover quicker, Roy is looking to make a comeback with the Timberwolves this season.
In his five years with the Trail Blazers, Roy was a bona fide superstar. He made three All-Star appearances, was named the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year and was eighth in the NBA in scoring during the 2008-09 season. He averaged 19.0 points per game for his career—topping out at 22.6 points in 2008-09 and 21.5 points in 2009-10—and is a career 46 percent shooter. He has played in 15 career playoff games, including six in 2008-09 when he averaged 26.7 points per game in the postseason.
What He’ll Bring To Minnesota: Wolves assistant coach Bill Bayno coached Roy during his five years in Portland, and Bayno said Roy looked like “the B-Roy of old” when the two worked out together in Los Angeles this summer. If that holds true and Roy stays healthy and in the lineup, he could be a huge addition to the Timberwolves’ back court. A year ago, Minnesota struggled to find a player who could play the traditional shooting guard role consistently. Both Wes Johnson and Martell Webster filled that spot, but due to inconsistency coach Rick Adelman often substituted another point guard—Luke Ridnour or JJ Barea—into that 2 spot. That left Minnesota at a disadvantage defensively due to giving up significant size for that position. If Roy can rebound and give Minnesota minutes, he’ll immediately make the Wolves’ back court better on both ends of the floor.
Where He’ll Fit In: Roy is a pure scorer. His NBA highlight reel is filled with pressure-filled shots and buzzer beaters. Roy immediately joins the Wolves as a late-game threat, another sure-handed player who can take the last shot with confidence and efficiency. A year ago, Kevin Love was the primary recipient in those situations, but with Roy and newly acquired small forward Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota now has several options to keep the defense honest. While Love is still the primary scorer on this team, Roy is another added piece that defenses must respect. Even if Minnesota uses him in small portions to start the season, Roy can have that impact at the end of games or in spurts. During his final season in Portland, Roy played in just 47 games and averaged 12.2 points per night. But he averaged 15.7 points per 36 minutes, meaning when he was in, he still found ways to put points on the board.
Wolves Connections: Roy was drafted by the Timberwolves in 2006, but the Wolves traded him for Randy Foye before he could play a game for the franchise. Roy noted during his introductory press conference that it won’t feel as strange seeing that Draft night photo wearing a Wolves hat anymore now that he’s with the club. Roy was close with Bayno during their time together in Portland, and working together this offseason was one reason why Roy ended up in Minnesota. Roy also played four years with former Wolves guard/forward Martell Webster in Portland, and also contacted Luke Ridnour when discussing the possibility of coming to Minnesota.
Quotable: “The big reason was David sitting here, coach Adelman, when they came to visit with me I thought the meeting was great. But then just talking with people around the NBA, and the first thing they said was if you have a chance to play with coach Adelman, you should do it. The way he manages players who maybe have some injuries and can still get the most out of them. He was the big reason.” —Brandon Roy on why he decided to join the Timberwolves