From the outside looking in — Brandon Roy‘s ominous knee issues notwithstanding — it seemed the least of the Portland Trail Blazers’ worries was their backcourt. Two months ago, I watched the Blazers beat the Knicks in New York’s home opener behind B-Roy’s 29 points and Andre Miller‘s 19 points and 10 assists. One month ago, I ranked Miller and Roy the 3rd-best guard tandem in the NBA.
Today, it seems Portland’s franchise centerpiece (Roy) and its veteran floor general (Miller) are headed for an ugly end to their relationship. From ESPN‘s Chris Broussard:
After Monday’s loss to Memphis, Roy all but blamed his struggles this season on Miller, saying “I wasn’t that slow until you put a guy who is kind of slow next to me. I’ve always been kind of slow. Not to be controversial at all, but I was slow my rookie year, and now it’s …”
Roy, who’s lacked the explosiveness we’ve seen from him in the past, apologized for his comments two days later, but his frustration remains — and Wednesday’s four-point performance in another L at Dallas certainly didn’t improve his mindset.
But is Roy frustrated enough to leave Portland?
Depends on who you ask.
One plugged-in person with knowledge of Portland’s inner workings told me Roy spoke with Blazers management less than two weeks ago about the need for Miller and him to part ways. While Roy did not issue a trade demand or request, I’m told he said something to this effect:
This is not going to work, so you should trade one of us. Whether it’s him or whether it’s me, somebody needs to be traded because this is not going to work.
Portland general manager Rich Cho, as well as Roy’s agent, Bob Myers, denied that such a discussion ever happened.
“It’s not true,” Cho said on Thursday.
Not that the Blazers would admit if something like that did happen. If the team is looking at trading one of its guards, who would it be? Roy seems like the obvious choice to keep — he’s younger and simply better — but his bad knee is making it so he may not be that attractive to other teams anyway.
According to Broussard’s article, Roy wants to handle the ball more, playing more like Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant instead of watching Miller dominate the ball so much. He was at his best when he played that kind of style, before Miller got to Portland — two seasons ago Roy averaged a career-high 22.6 points per game, along with 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds.
What do you think? Should Portland look to trade Roy or Miller?