Once the sadness subsides and the shock fades away, reality will painfully creep in for the Trail Blazers. Brandon Roy's career is over. The face of the franchise has moved on. The Blazers have a gaping hole at shooting guard. The long-term ramifications of Roy's stunning retirement will be significant. But the most pressing concern for the Blazers is that the player they thought would be their starting shooting guard departed 18 days before the regular season opener and that exodus will force a group of young, inexperienced players into the rotation ahead of schedule. Perhaps new point guard Raymond Felton said it best Friday afternoon, after the Blazers completed their first day of training camp, when he proclaimed: "Those guys are going to have to grow up fast." It's hard to dream up a more difficult start to a training camp than what happened to the Blazers on Friday, when injury news broke on the three players who once were franchise cornerstones. But while Greg Oden wasn't expected to be ready at the start of the regular season, and LaMarcus Aldridge is expected back by the first game, the loss of Roy — a three-time All-Star shooting guard — will have the biggest impact. Felton is the unquestioned starter at point guard and Wesley Matthews will reclaim his job as the Blazers' starting shooting guard, which he inherited last season when Roy first encountered knee trouble. Nicolas Batum, who has spent his three-year career exclusively playing small forward, likely will see time at shooting guard behind Matthews. But beyond that trio, the Blazers' backcourt is lean, unproven and filled with question marks.
Brandon Roy's retirement leaves hole in Trail Blazers' backcourt
Oregonian | Dec 10