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According to two league sources, the Wolves plan on making [Brandon Roy] a three-time All-Star a two-year contract offer. The money is unknown.
Like everyone else, I’m a little bit taken aback by this bit of news, but I’m not entirely displeased by it. Breaking this down by arguments:
- A multi-year contract? What are the Wolves thinking? Oddly enough, I think it makes a lot of sense to give Roy two years. For one thing, plenty of teams are going to be willing to offer Roy a one year deal. He has no emotional attachment to Minnesota (“Aww, the team that drafted me, then decided that Randy Foye and cash were a fair trade?”). Offering another year would give the Wolves a leg up on Miami or other bigger name suitors. Moreover, signing Roy for two years will not only guarantee him paychecks for two years, but it also might allow the Wolves to spend less per year on him. Also worth considering: Roy sat out last year, and will doubtless be a little bit rusty. Giving him some time to work into the system, without worrying about next year’s contract, might be worthwhile for the Wolves.
- Do we want a driving guard whose knees got so bad he had to retire? This is the most pressing concern. We have no idea what Roy still has left in the tank. Modern medicine has worked wonders on athletes before (we are looking at you, Kobe Bryant). The question is whether Roy is worth the gamble.
- How big of a gamble is he? Enormous. Either Roy will work very well for the Wolves, or he won’t work at all, and his knees are the thin line that separates both possibilites. Roy was never an elite three point shooter (38% from behind the arc in the season with his highest eFG%), so if he can’t get to the hoop (where he was over 60% for most of his career), he won’t be able to stand in the corner and jack up threes any better than Wayne Ellington or Martell Webster. On the other hand, if he can even come close to approaching the productivity he displayed in Portland, Minnesota will have added an extremely dangerous weapon. One of the areas in which the Wolves struggled badly last year was in shot creation. When a play broke down, the most reliable option Minnesota had was an isolation play for Michael Beasley. This, unsurprisingly, rarely ended well. 70% of Brandon Roy from 2008-09 would be a massive improvement.
- Speaking of Beasley, what does this mean for him? Signing Roy would probably spell the end of Beasley/Randolph in Minnesota. If both players re-signed, the Wolves would only be able to offer Roy a mid-level exception, hardly enough to sway Roy away from contenders rumored to be chasing him, like Indiana and Chicago.
This would be an experiment, to be sure, but not a bad one. A healthy Roy would be an enormous boost for a playoff push next year. An unhealthy Roy ties up some cap space, but Minnesota has other options to free up room in this scenario.
One more rumor worth mentioning: David Aldridge from NBA.com says that Houston has been discussing dealing Kevin Martin to Minnesota for the 18th pick. Martin would add a three point shooter that the Wolves desperately needed last season. He would not, however, add a lick of defense, and his contract is burdensome ($13 million next year). We will keep you updated on both possibilities.