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Updated: November 20th, 2012 6:42pm
Wessel: Brandon Roy experiment might be coming to a quick end

Wessel: Brandon Roy experiment might be coming to a quick end

by
1500ESPN.com

The odds of Brandon Roy's already unlikely NBA comeback being a success took a serious hit this week when he underwent his seventh knee surgery since high school.

The chances of this thing panning out were always a long shot.

But with Roy being lost after only five unproductive games, everybody is assuming the worst. This line of thinking is justified. Roy is expected to only miss a month, but the Wolves can't realistically be expecting much out of him when he is set to return around Christmas.

Whatever happens, it was still a risk worth taking.

David Kahn, the Wolves president of basketball operations, can be blamed for many things, but taking a flyer on a guy who was once considered one of the premier shooting guards in the game was always worth a shot.

No matter how long.

Wolves coach Rick Adelman and Kahn were high on Roy's character, and that also factored in on their decision to sign him as they went about overhauling a locker room that had been filled with young and immature players.

Roy signed a two-year $10 million dollar deal over the summer after retiring because of bad knees a year earlier.

The Wolves made it clear they knew this might not work out when they got the second season of Roy's deal medically protected in case a situation like this arose. That means that the Wolves will be out $5 million if Roy has to cut his comeback short. That is roughly the same amount of money the team paid Darko Milicic to take up space on the end of the bench a season ago.

It is easy to play the revisionist history game and point to other shooting guards that Kahn and the Wolves could have signed. But the bottom line is that getting a player like Roy for a low-price tag, even if he was less than 100 percent, was justifiable.

The good news for the Wolves is that as disappointing as things have gone with Roy thus far, Alexy Shved has been a pleasant early-season surprise. The guard was brought in to provide depth at a big position of need with the expectation that he would be brought along slowly.

But the young Russian has proven in quick fashion -- like Ricky Rubio did a year ago -- that having played pro ball overseas as a teenager makes for an easier transition to the NBA. The Wolves, and their fans, are now salivating at the prospect of Rubio and Shved on the court together.

Now there is the question of what is next for Roy? The odds of him playing again this season are decent. The odds of him contributing much of anything aren't.

When Roy spoke to the media before his surgery was announced, he had the body language of a guy who knew it might be over. Roy is a class act, but it might be time to be realistic because the writing is on the wall.

Regardless of what happens with Roy from here on out, even if he only gives the Wolves five games, Roy is the type of player you roll the dice on.

It's just sad it has played out like this.

In this story: Darko Milicic, Ricky Rubio
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