It appears that the Emerald Archer’s sidekick is at least referenced in name only.
Per The Huffington Post‘s interview with Arrow excutive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg:
Green Arrow’s former sidekick, Roy Harper, is one of my favorite comic book characters. You introduced a few original characters in the show, one of which was Oliver’s sister, Thea, who wasn’t a part of the source material. In the pilot, we hear Oliver call her “Speedy,” which was Roy’s nickname as Green Arrow’s sidekick. So I wondered whether that “Speedy” nickname was a nod to Roy’s legacy, or whether there was a chance we could see him down the line?
Kreisberg: One does not obviate the other. I think we are fans of the comic and we are fans of the rich heritage and legacy of the comic. I think you’ll find that there’s going to be more of the Green Arrow lore from the comics in the show than even hardcore Green Arrow fans aren’t going to believe. He’s choosing his nouns and his verbs very carefully … Stay tuned. There’s the reference to Speedy in the pilot. But I think there’s a lot of story to tell and we have a lot of cool characters to start with. Right now we’re sort of focusing on servicing them. But it’s always been our intention to open up the universe and allow not just characters from the Green Arrow comic books, but other DC Comics characters, some lesser known ones who’ve never really gotten their due and sort of put our unique spin on it. So, it’ll feel like a rich tapestry of a show.
There’s actually quite bit of interesting subjects touched upon in the interview; Black Canary, the set up/use of Easter eggs of other potential DC characters in future episodes. Feel free to click on the link above for the full article.