Wolves Deal Chase Budinger To Pacers

SUNDAY, 10:40am: The trade is official, both the Wolves and Pacers have announced.

“We’re very glad to have Chase,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said. “He’s a guy we think will fit in our rotation. He can shoot and drive to the basket, which works with how we want to play. Damjan was a special guy. He was great to have as part of our team. He will be missed by all.”

SATURDAY, 3:24pm: The Wolves will send Chase Budinger to the Pacers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Minnesota will receive 6’10” foward Damjan Rudez in exchange.

Budinger, 27, has been with the Wolves since being acquired from the Rockets in a 2012 trade. He averaged 6.8 points and 3 rebounds per game this year while playing about 19 minutes off Minnesota’s bench. In April, Budinger exercised a $5MM option for next season.

The 29-year-old Rudez, a member of the Croatian national team, averaged 4.8 points in 68 games with the Pacers last season. He signed a three-year contract with Indiana last summer and is due to make more than $1.149MM next season, with a team option for 2016/17 at $1.199MM.

The salaries aren’t a match, but each team can accommodate the deal via trade exceptions, as former Nets exec Bobby Marks points out (on Twitter). The Pacers can either use the giant, but temporary, $15.5MM-plus trade exception they reaped from the Roy Hibbert deal, or they can renounce their cap holds and use cap space, a move they’ll eventually have to make to sign Monta Ellis. The Timberwolves can use one of three trade exceptions large enough for Rudez.

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