HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Brandon Roy‘s retirement from the NBA looks like it might only last one season.
The former Portland Trail Blazers All-Star is apparently headed back to the league, with a host of teams interested in acquiring his services for the 2012-013 season and beyond.
The Bulls, Mavericks, Pacers and Timberwolves are all, according to Yahoo! Sports, among the teams doing their due diligence to investigate Roy’s readiness for action. And they are not alone:
Roy’s recovery from chronic knee problems has been recently spurred by undergoing the platelet rich plasma therapy procedure that Lakers star Kobe Bryant popularized with NBA players, sources said. The blood spinning procedure gave profound relief to the knees of Bryant, Tracy McGrady and baseball star Alex Rodriguez.
The Golden State Warriors have also expressed strong interest with Roy. The Warriors’ general manager, Bob Myers, was Roy’s agent with the Wasserman Media Group.
After Portland doctors pushed Roy to stop playing in 2011, the Blazers used the league’s new amnesty provision to pay him the remaining $63 million on his contract and made Roy a free agent. He’s been working out for several months and planning a return.
Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard made a draft day deal for Roy in 2006 as Blazers GM, and his relationship could play a pivotal part in Indiana’s recruitment of Roy, sources said. Roy trusts Pritchard, and values the fact that he brought him to Portland. Nevertheless, Roy hasn’t begun the process of narrowing his list of possibilities. After Thursday’s draft, more teams could express interest in him.
Roy played five often fabulous seasons for the Blazers, where he became a two-time All-Star and one of the NBA’s best and most popular young players. The chronic knee injuries started to take a toll in his final two seasons, and Roy struggled to play 47 games in the 2010-11 season before Portland used the amnesty clause after the lockout. In his five seasons, Roy averaged 19 points per game.
The year off for Roy has probably been more beneficial than anything else he could have done for his knees. And if the procedure he had does anything close to what it did for Bryant, who played like an ageless wonder this season, the team that winds up with Roy could end up getting the steal of the summer.
I watched him play spectacular basketball, in flashes, during his final playoff campaign with the Trail Blazers. If he can provide that sort of mercurial play — even if it comes off the bench in his next stop — some team will have a rare find on their hands.
If Roy is still capable of scoring anywhere from 16-20 points a night in a reserve role, he could join his best friend, fellow Seattle native and former Trail Blazers shooting guard Jamal Crawford, as one of the best sixth men in the league.