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Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Roy's whirlwind tour continues in Houston

Seattle Times staff reporter

He knew it was coming.

Still, as Brandon Roy opened an envelope a few days ago containing an official invitation to the Green Room for Wednesday's NBA draft in New York — sent only to players expected to be lottery picks — his heart beat just a little bit faster.

"It's a great feeling to know you're going to be one of those guys going up to shake the commissioner's [David Stern's] hand," said Roy, the Pac-10 Player of the Year this season who led Washington to its second straight Sweet 16 appearance. "I still haven't gotten over that yet."

The question now is what hat Roy will put on — another tradition for lottery picks come draft day — before he takes the stage to greet Stern.

The intrigue only grew Friday as Roy grabbed a mid-morning flight to Houston for a quickly arranged workout today with the Rockets, who might be considering moving up from No. 8 for a chance to take Roy.

"It's kind of a last-minute decision," said Roy, who said he expects to be taken in the top six picks. "[Houston] is trying to work a trade to get into the top five or six and they want to see me one last time."

Rumors involving the Rockets were spurred by the fact that Roy and Houston star Tracy McGrady have the same agent, Arn Tellem.

Roy said he may also make one last detour on his way to the draft, possibly heading to Toronto, which holds the No. 1 pick in the draft, for a workout with the Raptors on Monday.

There have been rumors this week that the Raptors may be interested in Roy, but Roy said he thinks those mostly involve Toronto trading down a few spots.

"My agent seems to think they want me more at three or four and trading their number one pick," Roy said. "I think they are interested in me, but they are also interested in five or six other players. But who knows? Maybe we'll go there Monday."

If he doesn't go to Toronto, he said he will likely be done with auditions after his trip to Houston.

What Roy won't do is have a workout with Charlotte, which holds the No. 3 pick — and that team's new part-owner, Michael Jordan.

Roy had been scheduled to go there Thursday in an attempt to finally get in a full workout with the Bobcats. He flew to Charlotte a few weeks ago for a meeting with the Bobcats, but didn't get through a full workout after feeling a little ill, due in part to a late-arriving flight the night before.

He planned to make a return engagement, but said he "tweaked" his right hamstring while in Seattle earlier this week preparing for it, which caused him to again put off the workout with the Bobcats.

"I beat a guy and tripped over his foot," Roy said. "It's nothing too serious but it was enough to say that I didn't want to do a work out in front of Michael Jordan for the number three pick. It was just bad timing. You've got to work hard to stay ready for these workouts, but at the same time, you do have a risk of injury."

Roy said he and his agents asked Charlotte to postpone the workout until Saturday but the Bobcats, he said, didn't seem too interested, and then the Houston workout arose.

But Roy said the fact that he won't work out for Charlotte doesn't mean he won't end up playing for the Bobcats.

"They may just go off of film," Roy said. "I played four years in college so I don't know how much a two-hour workout matters. I think the Charlotte thing is still realistic. The workouts are important, but they aren't everything."

Roy has already had workouts with Chicago (No. 2 pick), Portland (No. 4), Minnesota (No. 6) and the Los Angeles Lakers, who would seem to have a chance at Roy only by making a trade. He said he's been told Atlanta, which has the No. 5 pick, isn't a likely destination with the Hawks preferring to draft a bigger player.

He's also begun preparing for a new way of life, realizing Friday that by the time he returns to Seattle a week or so from now, he will officially be an NBA player worth millions of dollars.

His family and several close friends will join him in New York, including former Huskies teammate Will Conroy and Jamal Crawford.

He also has lined up endorsement deals with Nike and Upper Deck and has others in the works, joking that "some things I've signed, I don't even remember."

Those deals have enabled him to make one big purchase already, a Cadillac Escalade, and begin planning to help his parents buy a house, possibly in the Bellevue area. The family has lived in the same duplex in Seattle since Roy was in the fourth grade.

"Everything is just really exciting right now, really crazy," he said. "But I'm just trying to remember where I came from and my roots and just stay humble and enjoy the experience."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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