Mavs Envision B-Roy As 'Jet Replacement'
"Lord willing,' Brandon Roy recently said, "I will play again soon.''
The Mavs are working on that assumption, having already started the recruiting process even before Opening Day of NBA free agency to pinpoint the three-time All-Star with the worrisome knees. Dallas – one of a handful of teams ‘on his doorstep' this weekend – envisions the ex-Blazer as a ‘Jet replacement,' a source tells DB.com. Here's the update on the pursuit, the knees and the competition for Brandon Roy's services … Oh, and what Jason Terry (and Josh Howard?) have to do with all of this:
DallasBasketball.com reported on Thursday morning that the Dallas Mavericks were targeting former Blazers star Brandon Roy and that's come to fruition. (Because he'd been amnestied, he didn't have to wait for the customary FA recruiting rout.) Roy's first meeting as Saturday turned to Sunday was with the Timberwolves, a club with which he has ties. The Twin Cities papers report that T'wolves sent a team of executives including owner Glen Taylor to the Pacific Northwest to court Roy.
Yahoo reports the Bulls, Pacers and Warriors join the T'wolves and the Mavs on his five-team wishlist. The Pacers are notable here for their level of contention. (As the Mavs believe they are.) The Warriors' GM is Bob Myers, and there is a unique tie there: He used to serve as Roy's agent.
"I told (Roy) when he was amnesty-ed,'' Myers recently told CSNBayArea, ‘I hope this isn't it for you. Make sure this isn't it. He's said publicly he wants to come back, so I'll start to talk to him. It depends how everything goes for us and what his expectations are and all of that. But absolutely I'll talk to him."
On Dec. 15, 2011, the Blazers announced that they had used the amnesty clause to waive Roy. That led to Roy's announced retirement at the age of 27.
When he was right, he was D-Wade-like, a 2-guard with the ability to take over a game from either guard position.
But Roy, 27, has been training over the past several months with the goal of joining an NBA roster for the start of the season. The 6-4 former standout underwent double-knee surgeries, however, and has little or no cartilage left in either knee.
Of course, even on those bad wheels – as painful as it often was to watch – Roy could do some marvelous things.
Or don't you remember Game 4 in Portland as he almost derailed what would be Dallas' 2011 championship run?
Can something called "platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment'' and rehabbing in Seattle, as he's been doing all spring, lead to a recapturing of that sort of brilliance? Roy had his best statistical season for the Blazers in 2008-09, when he averaged 22.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds. It's been suggested to me that those days are done, that he's not destined to be a dominant "iso'' player ever again. (And of course, the Mavs medical staff will be deeply involved in helping to make that determination).
BUT CAN HE BE JET?
What if Roy is never again quite like Dwyane Wade but he's able to be a rotation contributor as a perimeter sharp-shooter off the bench? That is to say, what if he's an affordable Jason Terry?
Jet's not gone yet. But Dallas' pursuit of Deron Williams, if successful, will mean the renouncing of rights to long-time Mavs hero Terry. Dallas might lose Jet and Boston might lose Ray Allen (who of course has filled a similar role there). So as Yahoo notes, the Celtics are pursuing Terry. … In fact, my understanding is that Boston and Miami are prepared to engage in a bidding war for Allen. The team that finishes second will then point its wallet at Jet.
That's not "preliminary.'' Terry isn't going to wait around for the Deron shoe to drop. Meanwhile, Dallas' reported interest in Josh Howard is, I'm told, "preliminary.'' Terry is 34 and averaged 15 points for the Mavericks last season and was a key player in the Dallas title run and in its locker-room culture. Previous to that, of course, J-Ho was part of that culture – and was ousted three seasons ago when he struggled to conform to the locker-room's wishes.
According to those who know Roy, that will never be an issue with whatever team he joins. Indeed, if he's able to come back, he serves as a feel-good story and a work-ethic example for teammates.
And in Dallas, maybe a replacement for Jason Terry.
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