Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Portland Trail Blazers have decided to waive guard Brandon Roy using the amnesty clause.
Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan refused to comment in a text message.
Update: Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports: "Blazers have informed agent Greg Lawrence they will use amnesty to waive Brandon Roy."
Update (2:24 p.m.): The Blazers have sent the following text message to the media: "Trail Blazers have requested waivers on G Brandon Roy and designated him as the team's amnesty player." The Blazers sent out the following press release shortly thereafter.
The Portland Trail Blazers have requested waivers on guard Brandon Roy and designated him as the team's amnesty player, the team announced today.
"Brandon's announcement that he is leaving the game ultimately shifted our decision to amnesty," said Trail Blazers Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. "We're given the immediate option to obtain additional salary cap flexibility as we will no longer be in the Luxury Tax - something that is critical to improving our team and helping us recover from the loss of a player of Brandon's caliber."
"When faced with this decision, it made the most sense for us to amnesty his contract," said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. "We have a solid core group of players that we want to continue to build around. We owe it to our fans to put the best possible product on the court and this puts us in a better position to do that sooner rather than later. We once again want to thank Brandon for his many contributions as a Trail Blazer and wish him the best in his life after basketball."
Update (4:08 p.m.): Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that no comeback is in the cards for Brandon Roy.
"Brandon has no intention of returning to professional basketball," his agent, Greg Lawrence, told Yahoo! Sports. "He has been instructed by several doctors that he has a career-ending injury and needs to stop playing immediately. He has chronic problems in both knees and his long-term health is already in jeopardy. ...Playing further will unquestionably have serious consequences."
Update (5:31 p.m.): Quick notes: "Blazers owner Paul Allen met with Brandon Roy yesterday and gave open invitation for Roy to join the organization in some capacity down the road."
Using the amnesty on Roy immediately moves the Blazers below the luxury tax line for 2011-2012, restoring a full Mid-Level Exception that the team will reportedly use to sign unrestricted free agent guard Jamal Crawford to a 2-year, $10 million deal that includes a player option.
The deadline to exercise the amnesty clause in Friday. Teams are able to exercise the amnesty while on a call with the league to make a trade or announce a free agent signing. No additional lead time is required.
"When Brandon announced his retirement, it was a bittersweet moment because we knew we were losing a special person and special player," coach Nate McMillan said at practice on Thursday. "The Closer -- that's how I look at it -- The Closer has closed."
The decision comes with major financial impacts. Roy will receive the balance of the $63 million guaranteed to him on a mini-Max extension signed in 2009. Roy's $15 million salary for 2011-2012 will be removed from Portland's salary cap and its luxury tax bill. His future salaries will also no longer count against Portland's cap figure or luxury tax. He was on the books through 2014-2015.
Roy, 27, played five years for the team after being a lottery pick in 2006. He would depart having won Rookie of the Year, being selected to the All-Star team three times and posting career averages of 19.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
Under the amnesty process, teams that are under the cap would be able to bid for Roy's services for the next 48 hours. If no teams placed bids, he would become an unrestricted free agent.
Roy underwent arthroscopic surgeries on both knees during the 2010-2011 season. He also underwent knee surgery prior to the 2010 playoffs and at the end of the 2008 season. Prior to his time in Portland, Roy underwent multiple surgeries dating back to his high school days.
On Dec. 5, Buchanan, Blazers president Larry Miller, coach Nate McMillan called a press conference to announce that Roy would return to the team this year and was penciled in as the starting two guard. On Dec. 9, the day Blazers training camp opened, reports broke that Roy had decided to pursue a medical retirement due to ongoing problems with his knees. Early the next morning, the Blazers issued statements from Roy, Miller and owner Paul Allen.
"This is a very difficult and painful day," Roy's statement read. "I love the game, I love the Portland Trail Blazers and I love our fans, but after consulting with my doctors, I will seek a determination that I've suffered a career ending injury, pursuant to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement."
"My family and health are most important to me and in the end this decision was about them and my quality of life," Roy continued. "I want to thank Paul Allen, Larry Miller, Coach McMillan, the entire Trail Blazers organization and our fans for all of their love and support during my time in Portland. It was a great ride."
In his statement, Allen thanked Roy.
"I want to personally thank Brandon for all he's done as a Trail Blazer, on and off the court," Allen's statement read. "He is a true All-Star and we all rooted for him as he gave us so many amazing moments during his five years as a Blazer."
This post will update with more information.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter