Brandon Roy could be risky for the Lakers
Ron Artest has considered him the toughest player he's ever guarded.
And Lakers fans should well remember the career-high 12 assists he recorded in two games in 2008 and 2009.
In normal circumstances, it'd be a no-brainer for the Lakers to acquire Brandon Roy. But these are different circumstances. Assuming the next collective bargaining agreement includes an amnesty clause, it's plausible the Portland Trail Blazers could exercise Roy's $68-million contract through 2014. His injuries and declining performance could make the Trail Blazers feel it's not worth it to absorb so much of his salary.
That's where it makes things difficult for the Lakers. The market value will obviously drive Roy down, so there shouldn't be any fretting about the Lakers overspending. With a $91-million payroll full of long-term contracts and likely increased luxury taxes, the Lakers can't overspend anyway. Even if the Lakers secure Roy to a minimum deal, however, they'd need to temper their expectations on what value Roy would actually serve.
An offseason full of rest could restore Roy to performances such as his Game 3 comeback game against the Dallas Mavericks. But more likely, the 12.2 points he averaged last season likely signifies a turning point toward the worst in his career. He'd still carry the right attitude and could provide some scoring punch as a backup shooting guard behind Bryant. But the Lakers shouldn't expect Roy to suddenly duplicate the numbers that drew many comparisons in seasons past to Dwyane Wade and Bryant.
E-mail the Lakers blog at email@example.com
Photo: Blazers guard Brandon Roy scores over Lakers defenders Ron Artest, left, Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant in the first quarter of a regular-season game last season. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times