You know despite a relatively successful offseason for the Phoenix Suns it’s still a mystery to me on why the Suns front office made the pass on veteran Brandon Roy. Roy was a rising star with the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Suns should know pretty damn well how good this guy is after he dropped a career high 52 points on them a few years back.
Brandon Roy announced retirement last season due to a chronic knee issue that he’s had even back during his college days which was a big reason why he fell all the way to the 6th spot in the 2006 NBA draft.
It’s well known by now the Phoenix Suns organization has one of the best if not the best medical training staff in the world; in fact it’s a major reason why Phoenix is an attractive destination for free agents. The Suns took a gamble by nabbing Michael Redd last season despite two knee surgeries that forced Redd to miss nearly the entire 2010-2011 season and miss 64 games throughout the 2009-2010 season.
I wrote an article earlier this past summer discussing whether the Suns will regret not bringing back Redd, and personally I feel that they will. Redd proved to be a valuable addition to the Suns last season. Michael Redd scored 25 points in a big game against the Houston Rockets late in March, scored 23 points in a routing against the Lakers, and averaged 11.4 points in the month of April making 40% of his 3 point attempts despite playing 18 minutes a game during that stretch.
Redd’s numbers don’t lie in fact if you look at his per 40 minute averages they’re not too far off from his varsity years with the Milwaukee Bucks. According to his per 40 minute averages he led the Suns in scoring last season averaging 21.7 points per 40 minutes; unfortunately he played 15 minutes night.
Which brings me to my point, I was hugely disappointed when the Suns front office choose not to bring back Redd, but I was even more so disappointed when the Suns elected not to pursue Roy. Roy will probably never become the player he once was; biologically speaking that’s almost a guarantee. However this is a guy who’s a veteran, who’s been the face of a franchise and was regarded by most as a top 15 player when he was healthy.
As many of you may already know, Roy signed a 2-year 10 million dollar contract with the Timberwolves and that gamble Minnesota took seems to paying off thus far. So far in preseason Roy looks like he hasn’t lost a step, averaging nearly 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assist in only about 20 minutes of action per game so far.
The Suns offered Shannon Brown a 2-year 7 million dollar contract which means they could’ve went after either Redd or Roy who I believe can make a stronger impact for this Suns team compared to Brown. I’m not saying Brown isn’t a good player in fact I think Brown is a very good player but the way the situation is, the Suns just lost their two veteran leaders, Steve Nash and Grant Hill. Even just bringing back Michael Redd or signing Brandon Roy, they immediately bring leadership, and veteran experience; Redd more so than Roy but nonetheless.
So I’m sitting here and wondering why. Roy isn’t going to play 30 minutes a night because of his knee issues but Brown won’t play 30 minutes neither because as of this moment Shannon Brown isn’t even starting; Brown will most likely have a reserve role all season. So if the Suns were willing to offer Brown 3.5 million dollars to play a reserve role why not pay a little more to bring in Brandon Roy who will bring more to the table or bring back Michael Redd for less?
Don’t let the averages Michael Redd put up last season fool you, and don’t let Brandon Roy’s averages this season fool you neither because there’s only so much you can do playing 20-25 minutes a game. The decision not to bring in Roy is a foolish one because last season, Redd’s knee issues were just as serious as Roy’s but Aaron Nelson(Suns athletic trainer) and his staff were able to tackle the mission and handle it just fine so why not take a shot at Roy?
If a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves were willing to take a chance on Roy, the Suns should have too especially since they got the best training staff in the entire NBA, if there’s a medical staff out there that can keep Roy healthy, that staff is in Phoenix. Should Brandon Roy have a stellar season, the Suns will be kicking themselves for passing up on him.