Brandon Roy has seemingly tried everything to ease the chronic pain in his knees and rejuvenate his career. After a last-ditch arthroscopic surgery didn’t do the trick last month, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard might be out of options.
Roy is considering a second, and likely final, retirement after the pain in his right knee returned this week, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person requested anonymity because a final decision has yet to be made.
The three-time All-Star initially retired as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers before last season. Pain created by a lack of cartilage in his knees robbed Roy of the smooth, shot-making game that made him one of the league’s best shooting guards and a building block of the Blazers franchise. But he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy over the summer after sitting out the season, then felt good enough to attempt a comeback this year. The Timberwolves lured him away from other suitors including Dallas, Chicago and Golden State with a two-year, partially guaranteed deal, and things were looking up for Roy and the Wolves during a promising training camp.
During a preseason game against Indiana, Roy knocked knees during a collision, and it has been all downhill since. He had surgery on his right knee in November, then returned to practice Thursday and expressed optimism about possibly playing against the Suns on Saturday. But Roy was unable to practice Friday and was not present at the shootaround prior to the game against Phoenix.
The Timberwolves had set up for a possible press conference in the Target Center media room, but it was taken down by late afternoon and the team didn’t comment on the reason for it.
Roy is currently weighing retirement against the search for one more treatment or procedure that could allow him to try to resume playing, the person with knowledge of the situation said. It’s a difficult decision for Roy, a prideful player who was legitimately encouraged by the progress he was showing both in training camp and in the days following his surgery in November. He’s gone back and forth over the last two days, changing his mind several times while he grapples with what appears to be the inevitable end to his six-year career.
He has played in only five games this season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. He hasn’t played since Nov. 9. The two-year deal, $10 million he signed with the Wolves pays him $5 million this season, but is not guaranteed next season. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the Wolves could get the $5 million in cap room back this season by early January if he does retire in the next few days.
It’s a tough break for the Wolves as well, who were hoping Roy could give them 25-30 minutes a game this season as the veteran perimeter player who could break down a defense and get his own shot late in games that they were sorely lacking. Rookie Alexey Shved is off to a promising start in that regard, but is still gaining experience and has been inconsistent.