Yeah, I know, he’s showing signs that physically, he isn’t the player he once was. He says he’s “bone on bone” in both knees. And certainly he hasn’t looked as explosive as he once was.
OK, fine. But what we’re seeing from Brandon Roy right now isn’t just a physical thing. Rumors abound. Put your ear to the NBA ground and you hear all sorts of things. One of the murmurs making the rounds right now is that there’s really nothing more wrong with his knees today than there was a year ago. No, they say it’s much more than that.
They say he’s not happy with what’s gone on here.
The theory espoused to me yesterday by one NBA insider is that Roy is feeling lost and alone in Portland now that his sidekicks — Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake — are all gone. He feels abandoned. That makes sense to a degree and also helps explain the idea that the team was attempting to trade for one of his old pals, Jamal Crawford of the Atlanta Hawks.
But this guy is going through a horrible stretch right now, on and off the court. In his last three games he’s made just nine of 37 shots. He missed both his free throws last night and took just five shots all game — including just one in the second half. It isn’t often you see an all-star caliber player go through what Roy’s been struggling with on the court.
And my goodness, the guy threw his front office, his teammates and his coach under the bus two days ago and then followed it up with a “I-meant-what-I-said-but-I-shouldn’t-have-said-it” apology yesterday.
And oh yes, that little rumor also includes the idea that he doesn’t think much of the team’s front office and that he’s not real excited about Coach Nate McMillan lately, either.
The result is that he’s pouting — big-time pouting. And that he’s just not putting out right now. And the addendum to that theory is that he still has trade value — that if teams were to trade for him, he’d perk up again, particularly for a winning team, and return to his previous form. So would that make Roy more tradeable than we thought?
No way, says one general manager I spoke with.
“I cannot imagine any of us being able to go to our owner and convince him to commit to the kind of money that’s owed him,” he said. “There’s just no chance. Not, at least, without extensive medical examination. I just don’t see it happening.”
And for those calling for big, bold Trail Blazer moves, well, Rich Cho is going to have to turn into a magician to make those happen.
“What moves can they make?” one NBA executive asked me. “Unless they want to take back a contract worse than Roy’s, there are no deals out there for them. There are always people around who want to dispose of bad contracts. For Portland, they just don’t have many moves they can make. They are locked in on players to the point where they really don’t have much they can do.
“They look like one of those teams that isn’t going to be bad enough to get a good draft pick and not good enough to get anywhere in the playoffs. And that can last for a long time.”