SATURDAY, 9:15am: Budinger has been waived, the Pacers announced this morning.
THURSDAY, 4:24pm: The Pacers and small forward Chase Budinger have reached an agreement on a buyout arrangement, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reports (Twitter link) and Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star confirms (Twitter links). The agreement has been in place for a week and will be finalized on Friday, Buckner notes. Indiana needs to clear a roster spot for Ty Lawson, who is expected to sign with the team, Deveney adds. Because he will be waived after the March 1st deadline, Budinger will not be playoff eligible this season for any team that were to sign him.
Indiana was reportedly attempting to trade Budinger leading up to February’s trade deadline, but found no takers for the remainder of his $5,00,000 expiring contract. The Pacers acquired Budinger from the Timberwolves this past offseason when the plan was to move Paul George to power forward. But with Indiana utilizing George more often at his natural small forward spot as the season wore on, it cut into Budinger’s playing time significantly, as Buckner noted at the time.
Budinger has appeared in 48 games for the Pacers this season, including two starts. He is averaging 4.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.0 minutes per night to accompany a shooting line of .419/.299/.708. The 27-year-old’s career numbers are 8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists.