Chase Budinger Rumors
April 19 at 8:51am CST By Luke Adams
The Northwest was one of only two NBA divisions to send just two teams to the postseason, which means the Northwest's other three teams are looking ahead to the offseason. As the Nuggets and Thunder prepare to get their playoff series underway this weekend, here's the latest on the division's lottery teams:
- Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey will be targeting a draft night trade in which the Blazers give up one or more picks in exchange for a veteran center, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian. Since Portland won't open up its summer cap space until July, the club wouldn't be able to officially consummate such a trade on draft night, but a handshake agreement could be struck.
- Said Olshey: "If
there is a player under contract that we can absorb into our room on a
team that values a draft pick more than the established player, or they
are moving in a different direction and it moves us forward faster, it's
clearly what we are going to do."
- Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is waiting to hear whether or not coach Rick Adelman return to the team for next season before deciding on GM David Kahn's future, but for now Kahn is operating as if he'll be back, writes Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Both Adelman and Kahn believe Minnesota needs to add a talented veteran shooting guard and improve its interior defense.
- Kahn is hoping to re-sign restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic and unrestricted free agent Chase Budinger, as well as convincing Andrei Kirilenko to pick up his player option for 2013/14, says Richardson.
- We rounded up a few end-of-season Jazz items last night.
April 16 at 11:00pm CST By Alex Lee
As Tuesday night winds down, here are some odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Chase Budinger, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, would like to return to the Timberwolves next season but is only likely to do so if Rick Adelman is retained as the head coach, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Adelman pushed the Wolves to acquire Budinger, who he coached in Houston, in a draft-day trade with the Rockets last June. Budinger missed four months this season with a knee injury.
- After he signed Tracy McGrady, general manager R.C. Buford said that with the status of the Spurs roster right now, they "felt like [they] needed to look at some depth and experience," tweets Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News (via Twitter).
- The true winner of last summer's biggest blockbuster was Magic GM Rob Hennigan, writes Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. Hennigan fleeced the Sixers and obtained three first-round draft picks and Arron Afflalo, says Bianchi, and most important, did not end up with Andrew Bynum.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer looks at the biggest issues facing the lowly Bobcats this summer, specifically pointing at the futures of head coach Mike Dunlap, restricted free-agent-to-be Gerald Henderson as well as the six other Bobcats who could become free agents.
April 13 at 10:23pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune believes that several topics of discussion surrounding the Timberwolves are tied to whether or not Rick Adelman decides to return as head coach next season, namely Andrei Kirilenko's $10MM player option as well as the impending free agencies of Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger. Another question mark is tied to future of GM David Kahn, as majority team owner Glen Taylor maintains that he is undecided on Kahn's future and has no timetable on a decision. Zgoda has more things to discuss about the team, and you can find the highlights below:
- Kahn seems confident that he'll return for the draft and next season: "Glen and I talk all the time...My sense is that we’ll be working on this for a while.”
- The team hasn't made it a secret that they'd like to keep Pekovic for the long-term, but it remains to be seen if that stance will change should the 6'11 center garner a max contract offer from another team.
- Although a $10MM salary in 2013-14 appears lucrative, Kirilenko - at age 32 - may find it wiser to opt out and seek a three-or-four year contract, which would likely be the last of his NBA career.
- Taylor speaks regularly with Flip Saunders, mostly because the former Timberwolves head coach has been involved with an investment group looking to buy the team. With that being said, their relationship has fueled speculation that Saunders could be among the next in line to be considered for the general manager position if Kahn isn't retained.
- Brandon Roy most likely doesn't have a future in Minnesota, but his salary could still be used to make a trade work around draft time.
- Taylor, who looked to sell the team before the start of this season (preferably to a buyer with Minnesota ties that would keep the team where it is), looks to continue owning the team for the foreseeable future.
- There has been some tension brewing after some comments that Kevin Love made about being unhappy with his contract situation earlier this year, causing some to speculate the 6'10 forward's desire to remain in Minnesota. With that being said, Love denies wanting out, and teammate Derrick Williams is among those who believe him: "I can vouch for my teammates, the people we’re around every single day, and I think he wants to be here...And we want him here. He’s one of the best players in the game. Who wouldn’t want one of the best power forwards in the game and in the world to be on their team?”
November 23 at 10:19pm CST By Chuck Myron
We've been hearing plenty about the Lakers' possible interest in Raja Bell today, but he remains on the Jazz roster even though he's been estranged from the team all season. Tonight, Utah welcomed back another player they hadn't used this year, as Earl Watson made his return from a right knee injury he suffered in the middle of last season. One of the Jazz's division rivals could be without a key offseason acquisition longer than they originally thought, and we've got more on that as well as the rest of the night's news from the Northwest.
- Wolves coach Rick Adelman indicated Chase Budinger will be out longer than the initial projection of three months, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). "He tells me he'll be back in March, so we'll see," Adelman said.
- There's a "very good chance" the Blazers, who acquired the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou from the Knicks in the Raymond Felton deal, will bring the 6'8" power forward to Portland next year, reports Jason Quick of The Oregonian. Quick notes that Papanikolaou is leading the Euroleague in three-point percentage (Twitter links).
- The Jazz are taking more three-pointers than they have in the last 10 years, thanks in large part to offseason signees Randy Foye, Marvin Williams and Mo Williams, observes Jody Genessey of the Deseret News. It's also because of the improved perimeter game of impending free agent Paul Millsap, Genessey points out.
November 13 at 10:50am CST By Sean Highkin
TUESDAY, 10:50am: Budinger has undergone surgery on his left knee and will miss the next three months, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wojnarowski adds in a second tweet that Budinger had the entire meniscus in his knee repaired and that the procedure isn't expect to have lingering effects once he recovers.
SUNDAY, 7:54pm: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger will undergo surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the team announced via press release (link from the Minneapolis Star Tribune). Budinger injured his knee during Saturday's game against the Bulls. It is unclear how long he is expected to be out, but a timetable will be determined after his surgery.
Between Budinger, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, and Brandon Roy, the Wolves are dealing with a rash of injuries to key players. Earlier Sunday, it was reported that the team was considering making offers to free-agent wings Josh Howard and Mickael Pietrus. This latest injury would seem to make it more likely that they turn to one of those players or another for short-term help.
Budinger had been averaging 11.8 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 23.5 MPG this season, his first in Minnesota.
November 2 at 11:59am CST By Luke Adams
A rematch of last year's Western Conference Finals was the only game on the NBA's slate Thursday night, but it certainly delivered. After hitting a game-tying three with 28 seconds left, Tony Parker hit a buzzer-beater to give the Spurs an 86-84 win over the defending Northwest Division champions. We've got a few Thunder-related links to pass along this morning as they regroup from last night's loss, along with a couple more Northwest notes:
- Despite not playing his first regular-season game with the Timberwolves yet, Chase Budinger tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities he can already picture himself sticking around Minnesota for a while: "I can definitely see myself here (long-term). It's a great city. You can
already see how good the fans are here.... I'm excited for the season."
- Wolfson also tweets that Kenyon Martin's camp has checked in a few times with the Timberwolves, but the T-Wolves have said Kevin Love's recovery is going well and they don't have a need at power forward. Since K-Mart is reportedly seeking the mini mid-level, I'm not sure the Wolves are necessarily a match anyway.
- Noting that it felt "surreal" to be dealt to a championship contender like the Thunder, another K-Mart, Kevin Martin, tells Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld that he wasn't surprised by the trade. "With next summer being an
unrestricted free agent and them in rebuilding mode," Martin said. "I knew it was going to come at some point."
- One "well-placed" NBA executive tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he would've preferred to trade Russell Westbrook than James Harden, if he were running the Thunder (Twitter link).
- Kevin Durant spoke to reporters last night about the Harden trade, and HoopsWorld TV has the video.
October 26 at 9:13am CST By Luke Adams
While starting the season without Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, who are both recovering from injuries, will be a challenge for the Timberwolves, the early-season schedule may help keep the team afloat. Nine of the T-Wolves' 15 November games are against clubs that played sub-.500 ball last season, while three more come against the Magic, Bulls, and Mavericks, teams whose '11/12 stars have either been traded away or injured. As the Wolves prepare for the regular season to get underway, let's check out a few updates out of Minnesota....
- A source close to Will Conroy is convinced the point guard will earn a spot on the Wolves' opening night roster because of the $100K guarantee on his contract, says Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- The Timberwolves have brought aboard longtime NBA consultant Steve "Hat Man" Gordon, according to Wolfson, who notes that Gordon had plenty of influence in Portland when he worked for the Trail Blazers.
- Gordon has a good relationship not only with Conroy and Brandon Roy, but also Greg Oden, who could be on the Wolves' radar when he gets healthy, says Wolfson.
- There have been no talks about a contract extension between the Wolves and offseason acquisition Chase Budinger, reports Wolfson. Budinger will hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
- With Rubio and Love out to start the season, Budinger will be tasked with carrying more of the scoring load, writes Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
October 1 at 9:24am CST By Luke Adams
Last month, Twin Cities Business Magazine published a feature by Britt Robson on Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. While the piece touched on some basketball and roster issues, many of those details were not included. Now, Robson has posted a few of Taylor's more interesting quotes related to the T-Wolves' offseason moves and last season's roster. Here are the highlights from the Wolves owner:
On the team's additions of Andrei Kirilenko and Chase Budinger:
"[Rick Adelman] says, ‘This is the guy I want (Kirilenko). He never talks about
scoring, he talks about passing and he talks about defense. I need that
player in my system to be successful.’ So that one was clearly the
coach.... And Chase Budinger, that’s the coach. Rick knows him. He
says, ‘I can put him in the game, he’s going to be smart; he’s not going
to be the greatest defensive player, but he can do it. He isn’t going to
On signing Brandon Roy:
"You might think that is the coach, but that is more David [Kahn]. I
think it is David saying, ‘Let give this player to Rick and get the
backup in place in case it doesn’t work out.’ Because Rick keeps saying
to me, ‘I don’t know if he can play!’ And I tell him, ‘Rick, I don’t
know if he can play either!’ So the Brandon Roy thing is a risk."
On what Adelman thought of Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph:
"What Rick said about Michael was, ‘Yes, Michael has been good. I get
along with him. But I don’t think we’ll be a championship team with him.
If I put Michael in, Michael can score, but he doesn’t play any defense
and he forgets the other offensive players, and I just can’t tolerate
that under my system because the other players are just standing
around'.... The coach would have put up with Randolph if we had gotten
rid of Beasley. He said Randolph isn’t really a problem, he just can’t
remember things. When
was going down his list and got to Randolph, he said, ‘I think he
should be off the team. But if these things were taken care of and I had
to deal with it, I can deal with a kid like him because he is more of
an introvert, he’s not a nasty kid.’"
On the team's recruitment of Nicolas Batum:
"Batum recruited us about as much as we recruited him. He was one of a
number of guys who said they are interested in coming to us because of
Ricky [Rubio]. He said, ‘I like your coach and I like Ricky and Kevin [Love]. I
think I can fit in. I don’t need to score a lot; that isn’t what drives
me. I like being on the court with players who share the ball.’ There
were three teams he was interested in — New Orleans and Toronto were the
other ones — but he said they weren’t as far along as we were and that
we were his preference right now."
On what the Wolves offered Portland for Batum in a sign-and-trade:
"It never ended up being that we offered [Derrick] Williams. I said to David, ‘We’re not going to offer Williams,’
so I know David never did it. And as far as we know, we never got beyond
[offering] one first-rounder. It never got stretched
that far because Portland wouldn’t say what they wanted."
On whether a trade could still be in the works for Minnesota:
"There is room to do more [trading] but not right now because of Ricky’s
injury. There are like, five guys at the two guards, so I think
logically we could do something — and there is something out there — but
until we know for sure that Ricky is going to come back healthy, I
think you are going to see us set with this group."
June 26 at 8:56am CST By Luke Adams
The Timberwolves have sent the No. 18 pick in the draft to the Rockets in exchange for Chase Budinger, reports Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com (via Twitter). The Rockets also included the rights to Israeli forward Lior Eliyahu in the deal, tweets Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports.
The trade gives the Rockets the 14th, 16th, and 18th overall picks in the draft. While this year's class is considered a deep one, Houston is unlikely to be stockpiling those picks to use them all. Given the rumors
that the Rockets are looking to acquire multiple top-ten picks and/or make a run at Dwight Howard
, the No. 18 pick represents another asset the team can put toward a bigger deal.
For Minnesota, the trade gives the team a wing with shooting ability, something the T-Wolves have been seeking. I'm not sure Budinger is necessarily the missing piece, or worth a mid-first-round pick, but he's only 24 years old and is on a minimum-salary contract for 2012/13. Plus, while this year's draft class features a number of high-upside two guards, it didn't seem as if players like Austin Rivers, Jeremy Lamb, Dion Waiters, and Terrence Ross would last until the No. 18 pick.
Budinger averaged 9.6 PPG and shot 40.2% from three-point range for the Rockets in 2011/12, and is under contract for one more year, earning about $885K. Eliyahu, meanwhile, was the 44th pick in the 2006 draft. The 26-year-old is currently under contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, but has an NBA out in his deal. According to Givony (Twitter link), Eliyahu will play for the Wolves in Las Vegas this summer and has a decent chance to make the team.
The Rockets also obtain a traded player exception worth $854,389 in the deal. They have a year to use it, though a TPE that small is unlikely to be useful.
June 21 at 6:14pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Rockets appeared earlier today to be on the cusp of a deal involving Samuel Dalembert and the 16th pick, but multiple reports deny that a deal is imminent. There's plenty to suggest the Rockets will be active one way or another, including a report from Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston indicating the team will look to retain Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger and Marcus Camby.
- The Rockets continue to try to package their two-first round picks, at No 14 and No. 16 to move up, says Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Failing that, they'd like to trade one of the picks for a future first-rounder.
- GM Daryl Morey, who spoke to media members Thursday, wants to re-sign Goran Dragic quickly, as Berman notes. "My sense is that we will get it done early," Morey said. "That's our hope."
- The team will match any offer for Lee, a restricted free agent, Berman reports. The Rockets must first extend a one-year, $3,221,934 qualifying offer by June 30th to retain the right of first refusal, and Berman says the team will do so.
- Budinger's contract isn't guaranteed if he's waived before the start of the season, but the Rockets will bring him back, according to Berman. Budinger's price tag for 2012/13 is $942,293, Berman says, but other outlets, including Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports, have the value at $885,120.
- Berman says the team will also try to re-sign Camby, an unrestricted free agent. Bringing back another veteran center would seem to indicate there's truth to the idea the Rockets are shopping Dalembert, particularly if the team drafts a big man next week.
- Jason Friedman of Rockets.com rounded up Morey's comments, including the GM's feeling that the draft includes "at least 16 guys we think are solid picks." The Rockets hold the 14th and the 16th selections.
- Morey also says the team plans to sign Donatas Motiejunas as soon as they're allowed. Motiejunas, the 20th pick in last year's draft, played last season in Poland. The Rockets recently received the go-ahead from the NBA to sign the 7'0" Lithuanian as early as July 1 so they can get FIBA clearance in time for him to play in the summer league.