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Blazers were aware of Roy’s knee issues when they signed him to a max contract

Jul 2, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Four Getty Images

Former GM Kevin Pritchard went on John Canzano’s radio show in Portland to talk about his time and experience with the Blazers before he was (randomly) fired, and his thoughts on the league going forward. During the interview, Pritchard left an interesting bit of information out there regarding the decision to grant Brandon Roy his max contract in 2009.

Pritchard told listeners that the Blazers were aware of Roy’s knee issues (read: meniscus=over, long-term implications= very yes) prior to the signing and elected to grant Roy the extension anyway.

The decision seems curious at this point, because Roy has missed so much time and had surgery on his knees now, and there have been questions about whether Roy will still be able to play even five years down the line. But if we back up to 2009, it seems less crazy. Roy had just come off his best season in 2008-2009, and looked every bit the franchise star.

Pritchard said part of the decision to re-sign Roy was based off of his free-agent eligibility the following year. If Roy had stayed healthy in 09-10, he would have garnered a longer-term contract for the max, so in reality, the Blazers were getting a deal there. Second, Pritchard revealed that the portion of Roy’s contract that isn’t guaranteed was used to purchase a secondary insurance option, which covers Roy in entirety. As such, that mitigates the financial impact of having to pay Roy that contract, though the money counts against the cap all the same.

There’s been talk that the Blazers were aware of Roy’s knee situation at the draft. They’ve simply always believed that Roy could overcome the problems. But as this year showed, Roy can overcome them for short stints, but eventually the reality sets back in that Roy will most likely never be the same player again. If the new CBA (whenever that happens) alters contracts or grants an amnesty clause, the Blazers may get out from under it. But calculated risk or not, the decision to give Roy that contract remains a vulture on their shoulder going forward.

  1. jjstrokes - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Here’s a prime example of why the NBA is currently locked-out. Owners just automatically give their key players MAX deals bc they assume someone else is gonna pay him. There ARE other players on the market; god forbid an NBA team would have to scout & develop young/cheap talent.The owners are calling the players selfish (most of them are) but they aren’t responsible for these ludicrous contracts being offered. They’d be terrible business professionals if they didn’t take MAX deals. I think the Owners are mostly to blame. Current NBA contracts that are killing the league (like Rashard Lewis’, Arenas’, & J. Johnson) are the direct result of terrible ownership/personnel decisions.

  2. sknut - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    NOt to defend the trade, but his knees were the reason the T-Wolves traded him, they feared over time this would happen, of course they still messed up on the trade but their logic was sound.

    • jamesinva - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Are you a moron? So the TWolves draft Roy with what…the 6th pick? Then Portland drafts Foye….within that 3 minute span, the TWolves say to themselves, hey…I don’t know about his knees, i think down the road his knees will go bad. What did we do…hey call Portland and offer them Roy for Foye, let’s be logical.
      His knees were NOT the reason why they traded him, if that was the case, why not just draft Foye FIRST!?
      TWolves fans have been defending Foye and this trade for years, saying how Foye had bigger upside. Where is Foye now? Clippers? Please…give it up and worry about David Kahn running your team to the ground.

      • Colin Zvosec - Jul 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        Because the lower a player is drafted, the less money he is owed on his rookie deal. That way, the Wolves got the player they wanted, and paid him less money.

        It’s pretty straightforward.

    • goforthanddie - Jul 2, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      If MINN was worried about his knees, I really doubt they’d draft him. Then again, it is MINN…

  3. redbear18 - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Anyone else get the strong bad reference? “Computer=Over, Virus=Very Yes?” good to know these people have a sense of humor.

    • jjstrokes - Jul 2, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      Matt Moore writes good ish 4sho’…. Just ignore Kurt Helin’s articles.

  4. firerosenthalthebastard - Jul 2, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    This really is one of the most baffling contract extensions ever. Does anyone think Roy will ever be the same again?

    • LPad - Jul 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

      That’s the thing that gets me when people say guaranteed contracts are the problem. Everyone knows Roy has bad knees, but they still gave him a max extension. Did they even bother to negotiate? Just because there is a max to the extension contract doesn’t mean you have to offer it. Five years from now this will be the “Eddy Curry contract” that they use to complain.

  5. jamesinva - Jul 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    You TWolves fans talk as if it is such a sigh of relief you traded Roy for Foye. An injured, 2 knees banged up Roy on your roster would do more than the garbage that is put together at this point by Kahn. Get over the Roy for Foye swap please.

  6. jamesinva - Jul 2, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Colin, and how did that turn out? They paid less, for the guy they wanted and………………yea………….exactly

    • Colin Zvosec - Jul 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      Hey, I didn’t say it was a smart move.

  7. fatcatt - Jul 3, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    Huh? This story first came out over the winter. This isnt breaking news Mr. Writer. Its about 6 months old. I believe it was that had this story. Maybe Hoopsworld, but i think Fanhouse. But whoever it was, this is old news. Really old in todays world. A couple days into the strike and NBA analysts are printing anything they can find already. Ohhhh thats just f…ing funny

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