Chase Budinger‘s representatives have let the Timberwolves know that he’d like to play elsewhere, and the Wolves have been trying to trade him to teams around the league, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Budinger isn’t demanding a trade, sources caution to Deveney, but in any case, there’s “almost zero chance” the Wolves find a taker for Budinger or any other players before the deadline, a source tells Deveney. That’s because of the financial commitments that extend beyond the season for Budinger, Kevin Martin and Thaddeus Young, Deveney writes, adding that it’s nonetheless likely that the Wolves will trade Budinger after the season, when his contract will be easier to swallow.
Timberwolves coach/executive Flip Saunders denied that the team was shopping Budinger in October amid a flurry of rumors. There were conflicting reports about whether the Rockets had interest at that point, but regardless, Houston’s acquisition of Corey Brewer from the Wolves last month eliminated the team’s need for Budinger, according to Deveney. The Sporting News scribe reported in October that the Blazers had some interest, but Deveney says now that no substantive talks ever took place with Portland. The Pacers also apparently had interest before the season, and the Pistons reportedly inquired about the sixth-year small forward around that same time, with Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities pegging Detroit as the “team to watch” regarding Budinger in October.
Budinger, 26, is averaging career lows in points per game, minutes per game and shooting percentage. The BDA Sports Management client is making $5MM this season with an identical $5MM player option for next season. Young, about whom the Wolves and Nets have reportedly spoken, has a salary of almost $9.411MM this year and a player option of close to $9.972MM for 2015/16. Martin is making nearly $6.793MM this year, and his contract runs through 2016/17, which is a player option year.