The Portland Trail Blazers may ask Brandon Roy, a well-paid All-Star guard who has suffered multiple serious knee injuries in the past year, to retire, according to a column by John Canzano of The Oregonian. Canzano reports that Blazers management, led by owner Paul Allen, want to find a way to cut bait with Roy, feared to become an anchor.
Canzano does not, however, cite any sources.
Roy had double knee surgery at midseason, and struggled upon his return late in the regular season. He did have a magnificent playoff performance in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 18 points and leading the Blazers to a boisterous, shocking comeback win. But overall, he struggled in the series. Before that breakout, he'd fallen behind Rudy Fernandez and Patty Mills in the guard rotation.
Roy's due another $68.7 million over four years, a hefty pricetag if the guard can't get back to an All-Star level. Canzano suggests the Blazers could push Roy to retire, giving up all of that money and sitting out for a year, then returning to the NBA. As Canzano notes, that is a completely bonkers idea. There's almost no conceivable way that would happen. The other option is a medical retirement, in which a league-appointed doctor would have to determine Roy was no longer fit to play. Roy would still get paid every dime, but his salary would come off the Blazers' books, allowing them to make moves and avoid luxury tax.
But in that scenario, Roy would be forced to sit out a year. The Blazers tried to medically retire Darius Miles a couple years ago, but Miles came back on a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies to void the cap savings for Portland.
Whatever the case, if Portland is looking for a way out from under Roy, it's going to be one crazy summer. For more on Portland, visit Blazer's Edge.