Brandon Roy was, not so long ago, one of the NBA's premier players. He was a smooth-handling shooting guard who could pass, nail step-back jumpers, and explode to the rim with surprising athleticism. It seemed all but certain that Roy would become one of the defining players of this era, taking a spot alongside the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. But then Roy's knees decided to turn degenerative and put a stop to his inevitable ascendance, forcing him to retire last December at the age of 27. When Roy retired, basketball fans everywhere mourned the loss of a special talent.
But now we might have reason to rejoice, as Roy has signed a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now, it's very unlikely that he will make a sudden return to his superstar form—degenerative knees don't just start regenerating, even after receiving platelet-rich plasma therapy—but this could end up being a very good move for Roy and the T-Wolves if both parties handle themselves correctly. Minnesota shouldn't expect Roy to jump right in and become the star two-guard that they so desperately need, and Roy shouldn't expect to become the team's alpha dog and primary ball-handler, which are two roles that he had trouble letting go of in Portland even when his knees kept him from filling them effectively.
The T-Wolves already have a nice young core, led by Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, and if Roy can find a way to fill a supporting role (perhaps while coming off of the bench), the team could make some strides this season. All he needs to do is fill the empty spaces on the floor that Love and Rubio will create for him, and hit open jump shots.
Basketball fans everywhere should be excited to see Roy returning to the floor, even it is just to stand on the wing and shoot jumpers, because that jumper was always something special.