Western Notes: Budinger, Blair, Lakers, Liggins, Eliyahu

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports got T’Wolves fans excited today when he passed along news that Chase Budinger will return to Minnesota and has been cleared to resume basketball activity.  However, the T’Wolves seem to be saying (via Twitter) that he may not start practicing right away.  Here’s this afternoon’s look at the Western Conference..

  • Offseason acquisition DeJuan Blair could earn a regular the Mavericks‘ rotation, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.  When Brandan Wright returns from his right shoulder injury, Dallas will be saddled with a wonderful problem: two talented big men off of the bench who are hungry for playing time.
  • Ten games is enough to start evaluating the Lakers, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  The Kobe Bryant-less Lakers are 4-6, though offseason pickup Wesley Johnson has been among the team’s bright spots.
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside wonders if DeAndre Liggins will be a candidate for D-League MVP this season.  Schlosser believes that the former Thunder guard could rise up as this season’s Andrew Goudelock.
  • Israeli guard Lior Eliyahu, whose NBA draft rights are owned by the T’Wolves, has signed a three-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.  It’s not clear if the deal includes an NBA out-clause.  Minnesota acquired Eliyahu’s draft rights in the 2012 Chase Budinger trade with Houston.  To keep track of everyone’s whereabouts from around the world, check out the Hoops Rumors International Tracker.
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