Last year, the Portland Trailblazers used their amnesty clause to waive Brandon Roy, saving them over $63 million left on his contract. The Blazers said that Roy’s “retirement” was medically-related after his sixth operation, but they curiously went on to amnesty him anyway. The reason why the Blazers amnestied Roy instead of letting him medically-retire was because there was a slight chance that he could return, a la Darius Miles. And when players medically retire, their salaries are wiped off the books, but still paid, as long as the player doesn’t return within a year.
But if you ask Roy, he says, “It was never really officially my decision to retire.”
During his recent press conference at the Target Center, Roy said, “After a few months of sitting out, I decided, ‘Hey, I don’t want to stop playing basketball. I wanted to continue going forward. It was never a situation where I said, ‘I’m done forever.’ It’s just more of a pause.”
Asked why he signed the two-year deal worth $10.4 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Roy said, “When they say, ‘You know, Brandon, the sky’s the limit here,’ that really made me feel good. I thought some teams maybe wanted me to play a small role, but Minnesota was saying, ‘You can come in and earn as big of a role as you want.’ So that was really important for me.”
No one really knows what Roy will look like during the course of an 82-game season, not even Roy himself. But after getting the same plasma surgery that Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum got in Germany, Roy says that he feels like a new man. And if Roy looks anything like a shell of his former self, the future for this young Timberwolves team is looking mighty bright.