Over the past five years, when the Wolves needed to get a bucket from someone in a big spot going to the rim or creating a shot off of the dribble, the choices were limited.
There is at least one more option now.
Minnesota inked Brandon Roy to a two year deal Thursday, worth up to $10 million. The deal is low risk, protecting the Wolves if Roy has more issues with his ailing knees in the near future, but the reward can be so high for a team that appears to be right on the cusp of making some noise in the Western Conference.
Fans had been waiting for the front office to make a type of move of this stature. The Wolves came into the offseason needing to make an addition that could score alongside Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. Some believed they would attempt to address that need in the draft, until they traded their 18th pick to the Houston Rockets for forward Chase Budinger (a move that appeared to be the right one as all of the perceived impact guards were off the board by the time the 18th pick rolled around).
Instead of getting another young guard to develop in hopes he would emerge, Minnesota just snagged a proven scorer that can step up in the big moments.
Roy averaged 12.2 ppg over the 47 games he played with the Blazers during the 2010-11 campaign, his most recent NBA action. The guard appeared to be a shell of his former self who was a perennial all-star. There still were flashes though. In a first-round game against the eventual champion Mavericks, Roy scored 18 in the fourth quarter to lead Portland to the victory.
Those types of performances are what the Wolves have lacked from the guard position for years. Even if the reports that Roy's knees, which caused him to retired in December before receiving treatment that he hopes has rejuvenated his career, will only be able to handle 20 minutes a game, that is 20 minutes of quality play from a proven veteran that was not there before. If Roy is able to score double digits and the occasional big shot, he will be well worth the $5 million each season.
The Wolves desperately lacked a perimeter scorer to compliment Kevin Love. The also appeared out of sorts at times on the offensive end with the lack of a steady-secondary option, especially following the loss of Rubio. Roy can fit the bill and create fluency within the offense.
Part of me also thinks Roy believes he will be able to make a larger impact than most expect. He was frustrated when the Blazers limited his role before his retirement and I cannot believe he would return to play under similar circumstances. If the Wolves can get toward 30 minutes of quality play from the veteran, this could be the biggest signing in Minnesota since the Wild snagged Parise and Suter.
With one signing the Wolves have picked up a scoring guard, a leader, experience, and another option to take the big shot when needed. This is a very important signing by Glen Taylor, David Kahn, and Rick Adelman. As for the fan base, well we have been waiting for this one since Minnesota drafted the young guard from Washington back in 2006.