The brief, unsuccessful Brandon Roy era — or experiment — in Minnesota has been wiped clean by incoming President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders.
The Wolves waived the three-time All-Star guard Friday, releasing him from the final year of a two-year, $10 million-plus contract that is nonguaranteed if he is unable to play because of his degenerative knees.
On Wednesday, Saunders fired five scouts, including Roy confidants Will Conroy and Steve Gordon, who were added to the team’s payroll after Roy chose the Wolves over teams such as Golden State, Dallas, Chicago and Indiana.
Roy signed with the Wolves last summer after owner Glen Taylor, President of Basketball Operations David Kahn, coach Rick Adelman and athletic trainer Gregg Farnam flew to Seattle to woo him, believing last season’s $5 million guaranteed money was worth the gamble on a player who believed a new medical procedure would prevent relief for knees now missing cartilage needed to cushion them.
Roy, 28, played only five games last season because of worn knees that caused him to retire in December 2011. That led the Wolves to offer him only one year guaranteed on that two-year deal.
He averaged 5.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 24.4 minutes in those five games.
Roy said late in the season that he hopes to continue his career and said he and his agent were uncertain about whether next season is non-guaranteed because of the contract’s wording.
Saunders wished Roy well in a brief statement released by the team that announced the move.
His $5 million salary slot could have been used to facilitate a trade as next month’s NBA draft approaches, but the team’s decision to waive him Friday says Saunders believes that contract has no trade value.