MINNEAPOLIS – Former Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy reached an agreement to sign a two-year deal with the Timberwolves on Thursday night, according to multiple sources. NBA.com has reported that the deal is worth $10.4 million.
The Timberwolves originally drafted Roy, 27, as the sixth pick in 2006, but they immediately traded him to Portland for the rights to Randy Foye. Roy played five seasons in Portland before retiring on Dec. 10, 2011 because of chronic knee problems. He was reported to have no cartilage in his knees at the time of his retirement, and he’d undergone multiple knee surgeries.
In those years with the Trail Blazers, Roy established himself as one of the top shooting guards in the league. He won the 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected as an All-Star three times, from 2008-10. He’s averaged 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists over his career, but in his final season before retiring, 2010-11, those numbers fell off sharply. After averaging 21.1 points per game from 2007-2010, Roy finished 2010-11 averaging just 12.2.
Roy announced his retirement before the beginning of the 2011-12 season, and the Trail Blazers opted to amnesty his contract. In such a case, the team waives a player without having his salary count against the salary cap or luxury tax; the player still receives the money he’s contractually due, however. Each NBA team is allowed to amnesty only one player during the term of the current collective bargaining agreement.
Because he was amnestied, Roy was a free agent when he announced his comeback on June 16 via the Twitter account of his college teammate at the University of Washington, Will Conroy. With the announcement, multiple teams – reportedly the Timberwolves, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Warriors and Pacers – began to express interest. That interest was obviously contingent on the condition of his knees, and he’s undergone the same treatment (platelet-rich plasma therapy) that Kobe Bryant tried. However, such a treatment in Roy’s case is likely only to lessen pain.
Though Roy and the Timberwolves have come to a verbal agreement, he cannot officially sign until the 10-day moratorium comes to an end on July 11.