Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy is planning to announce his retirement due to degenerative knees, perhaps as soon as Friday, sources with knowledge of Roy's decision have told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard and ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
The Blazers had said earlier in the week they were expecting Roy to be ready for training camp as NBA teams hold their first official practices Friday after the five-month lockout.
Sources say Roy has privately conceded his ongoing knee trouble would have inevitably led to a reduced role, and given his close connection with the Portland community the former All-Star does not want to end up being released through the forthcoming amnesty clause and thus eligible to be picked up by another team.
Roy's retirement would eventually give the Blazers salary-cap relief. League rules call for a waiting period of one year from the date of the player's injury or illness, after which the Blazers could get Roy's contract off their books.
Since Roy played all the way into the playoffs last season, that date will likely be April 28, 2012 -- one year from the day the Blazers were eliminated from the playoffs.
According to NBA rules, a league physician will have to confirm that Roy is unfit to play for the Blazers to get the salary-cap relief.
As recently as Monday, Blazers officials had said that, despite considerable speculation to the contrary, they would not use the amnesty clause on Roy. The clause allows a team to release one player and gain salary cap relief; however, the team must still pay the salary.
"Our plan right now is not to use the amnesty," Blazers president Larry Miller told the Oregonian newspaper. "We expect Brandon to be a part of this team when the season starts."
Before the announcement, Miller held a 90-minute meeting at his home with Roy, agent Greg Lawrence, coach Nate McMillan and Blazers interim general manager Chad Buchanan. McMillan emerged from the sitdown saying he was going into the season viewing Roy as his starting shooting guard.
Roy had told the executives he felt great and wanted to help the team in any way he could.
Roy has said he lacks cartilage in both knees, meaning there is no cushion between the bones. After arthroscopic surgery last January, Roy came back to play, his minutes were limited off the bench, and he finished with an average of 12.2 points per game, a career low, in 47 games.