Chase Budinger

And-Ones: Billups, LeBron, Free Agency, Budinger

ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups wants to run an NBA team in the near future, according to an Associated Press report. Billups turned down the Cavaliers’ GM job last summer, saying then it would tough to rebuild the team if LeBron James bolted. Rumors flew this summer that he’d be a candidate for a Pistons’ front-office post but he wasn’t seriously considered. “My desire is to one day run a team, be in a front office and try to build a champion,” Billups said. “I know that I will and I know I’m going to do a good job. When that opportunity presents itself, and it’s a good opportunity, I’ll be ready to go.”

In other news from around the league and overseas:

  • LeBron James will skip next week’s USA Basketball minicamp, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. It will be the first official session for USA Basketball with the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich as the head coach.
  • Dwyane Wade could be a bargain for the Heat or another team still shopping for a free agent guard, according to another AP story. Wade could probably be signed in the $5MM range. Vince Carter, Michael Beasley and restricted free agent Marcus Smart are three other veteran free agents who could offer value at a bargain rate, the story adds.
  • Former NBA forward Chase Budinger is pursuing a career in volleyball, Drew Ruiz of HoopsHype reports. Budinger is chasing an Olympic dream and has become a partner with two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal on the AVP Beach Volleyball circuit. “That’s been a goal of mine since I was in high school, to be on an Olympic team and playing for the USA,” Budinger told Ruiz. Budinger’s NBA career ended after he played 17 games for the Suns in the second half of the 20015/16 season.
  • Former NBA guard Mike James has signed a lucrative offer sheet with Italy’s Olimpia Milano through the 2021 season, international expert David Pick tweets. James started 10 games for the Suns last season and appeared in 32 games overall, averaging 10.4 PPG and. 3.8 APG. After getting waived, he played four games with the Pelicans before getting waived again. He then had a second stint with Greece’s Panathinaikos Athens and won a championship.

Pelicans Work Out Josh Smith, Other Veterans

The Pelicans worked out a number of veteran players that could potentially be used to fill the void at small forward in the wake of Solomon Hill‘s hamstring injury, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed on his podcast. Included in the workout were Josh Smith, Chase Budinger and Martell Webster.

While Wojnarowski questions the decision to bring in a handful of players with spotty track records to fill such a vital role for a Pels team with playoff intentions, New Orleans will need to come up with a solution if they can’t quickly lock down Dante Cunningham.

As we discussed on Tuesday, the Pelicans are trying to bring Cunningham back on a minimum deal but are facing strong competition from Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves. Cunningham has served as a spot starter for the Pels on and off over the course of the past three seasons.

Of the three vets Wojnarowski mentions to have worked out for the franchise, it’s Smith who had the most significant NBA tenure but he’s also likely the least natural small forward of the three as well.

For nine seasons Smith helped anchor a Hawks team that gradually became one of the Eastern Conference’s most reliable contenders but things began to unravel when he signed a free agent deal with the Pistons ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

Since then, Smith has bounced from the Pistons to the Rockets and Clippers and has found himself out of the league altogether since 2015/16.

Famously criticized for his tendency to shoot long twos, Smith’s inclusion in a Pelicans rotation already built around two traditional big men causes consternation and, in the eyes of Wojnarowski, won’t exactly help the franchise woo superstar Anthony Davis, whose name has come up as a coveted trade target for the Celtics.

Budinger, like Smith, hasn’t suited up for an NBA team since the 2015/16 season, while Webster hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2014/15.

And-Ones: Seattle, Summer League, Ledo, Prigioni

Ray Allen has been in the news lately for his beef with his former Celtics teammates, stemming from his move to the Heat. Before he played for either of those clubs though, Allen was a four-time All-Star for the Seattle SuperSonics. The longtime marksman was at his best during his time in Seattle, averaging 24.6 PPG in 296 regular season contests, and he still has a fondness for his old home. As Alysha Tsuji of USA Today details, Allen suggested in a recent Instagram post that he wants to see the NBA back in the city.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle!!” Allen wrote on an Instagram post that featured the hashtag #bringbackoursonics. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle. let’s make this happen people!!! The NBA misses traveling to Seattle, I know I certainly do!!!!!”

As we wait to see if Allen follows Russell Wilson‘s lead and officially joins a group trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • The NBA officially announced today that a record 24 teams will compete in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17 this summer. While multiple Summer Leagues take place in July, the event in Vegas continues to be the most popular.
  • As David Pick reports (via Twitter), Spanish team Baskonia made a roster move involving a former NBA player earlier this week, signing Ricky Ledo, a second-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft. According to Pick (via Twitter), the move to add Ledo was made because Baskonia feared that former NBA sharpshooter Chase Budinger would miss the rest of the season with an injury.
  • Pick has another update on Baskonia, tweeting that the Spanish club is considering the possibility of hiring Pablo Prigioni as its future head coach. Although he played four seasons in the NBA, Priginoi spent most of his career in the Euroleague, spending a long stint with Baskonia in the 2000s. He recently retired as a player, and it appears coaching may be the next step for him.

And-Ones: Budinger, Allen, World Peace, O. Johnson

After being waived by the Nets last month, Chase Budinger has headed to Spain to join Baskonia. As details, Budinger says he’s excited to follow in the footsteps of former Baskonia big man Luis Scola, whom Budinger describes as a “mentor.” There will be no shortage of former Nets on the roster this season for Baskonia, as the team also features Andrea Bargnani, Shane Larkin, and Tornike Shengelia.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Now that Ray Allen has formally announced his retirement, what’s next for the future Hall-of-Famer? Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders explores that subject, recalling that when he spoke to Allen back in 2014, the veteran sharpshooter expressed interest in eventually getting into coaching.
  • The Lakers were in Indiana last night to play the Pacers, and veteran forward Metta World Peace took the opportunity to express some remorse about his time in Indiana earlier in his career, per Baxter Holmes of According to World Peace, he can “never forgive” himself for letting so many people in the Pacers organization down.
  • Former second-round pick Orlando Johnson, who appeared in regular-season games with the Suns and Pelicans last season, has signed a three-month deal with Russian team UNICS Kazan, as relayed by Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Johnson was in camp with the Bucks this fall, but didn’t make Milwaukee’s regular season roster.

NBA Vet Chase Budinger Headed To Europe

Forward Chase Budinger, the final training-camp cut by the Nets, has signed with Baskonia of Spain, international journalist David Pick tweets. The news was also reported by Sportando and Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Budinger will join two other former NBA players who previously signed with Baskonia in the Euroleague, center Andrea Bargnani and point guard Shane Larkin.

Budinger signed a non-guaranteed contract with Brooklyn just prior to camp. The 6’7” Budinger, who was originally drafted in 2009 by the Pistons and then immediately shipped to the Rockets, has bounced around the league in recent years. After playing three seasons in Houston, he was a reserve for the Timberwolves for three consecutive campaigns.

He appeared in 49 games with the Pacers last season before he was waived in early March. He was quickly snapped up by the Suns and came off the bench in 17 games for them as the season wound down.

Budinger averaged 7.9 points, 3.0 rebounds in 19.7 minutes over 407 NBA games. A career 35.2% shooter from 3-point range, Budinger shot under 30% from beyond the arc last year for both Indiana and Phoenix, which cooled interest in him on the free-agent market. It’s possible now that Budinger, 28, has played his last NBA game.

Nets Waive Chase Budinger, Three Others

The Nets have reduced their roster from 20 players to 16 today, announcing in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on four players. Chase Budinger, Jorge Gutierrez, Beau Beech, and Egidijus Mockevicius are the roster casualties in Brooklyn.

Budinger and Gutierrez are the most notable names in the Nets’ list of Tuesday cuts. Budinger has logged more than 400 NBA regular season games over the course of his seven-year career, while Gutierrez has appeared in regular-season contests with three different teams in the last three seasons. Both players were on non-guaranteed contracts, however, and it seems neither will earn a spot on Brooklyn’s 15-man roster.

Beech and Mockevicius were also camp invitees, though they each received modest guarantees on their minimum salary deals — Mockevicius got $100K from the Nets, while Beech received $45K. Still, both players were viewed as long shots to make the club’s regular season roster as undrafted free agents, and seem like good bets to join the D-League’s Long Island Nets.

With 16 players still in the mix, the Nets have to make one more cut before opening night. The most likely candidate to be waived is Yogi Ferrell, the only other player on the roster who doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary for 2016/17.

Atlantic Notes: Budinger, Raptors, Sixers, Celtics

Chase Budinger didn’t receive any guaranteed money from the Nets on his new contract, but he’ll have the opportunity to earn a regular-season roster spot, and if he can crack the 15-man squad, he’ll collect his full salary, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Pincus reports (via Twitter) that Budinger’s contract is an all-or-nothing deal, which becomes fully guaranteed if Budinger makes the team.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman is pleased with the team’s offseason, as he tells Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Weltman pointed to the team’s 10 players who are 25 or under as a sign the franchise has “invested in youth,” and singled out first-round picks Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam as rookies who could establish rotation roles.
  • In the view of Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Joel Embiid‘s health will play a major part in solving the Sixerslogjam at center. If Embiid is healthy, it makes Jahlil Okafor more expendable, since Embiid can produce on offense. If Embiid isn’t healthy, it’s more imperative that the team hangs onto Okafor, who can score in the low post.
  • Speaking on Tuesday to reporters, including Chris Forsberg of, new big man Al Horford said that it “feels right” to be playing for the Celtics, adding that he feels like the club is capable of winning a championship.

Nets Sign Chase Budinger

SEPTEMBER 26: The Nets have officially signed Budinger, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 21: With training camps set to begin next week, the Nets have added another veteran player to their roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that free agent forward Chase Budinger has reached an agreement with the team. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known.

Budinger, 28, spent last season with the Pacers and the Suns, appearing in 66 total games. He played a career-low 14.1 minutes per game and saw his production decline across the board — Budinger’s 4.1 PPG, .279 3PT%, and .696 FT% were all easily the worst marks of his career.

Still, heading into last season, Budinger was a career 35.8% from three-point range, and he could still provide a little value as a shooter off the bench. It’s not clear whether he’ll receive a guaranteed contract from the Nets, but he’ll likely have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot either way.

Brooklyn already has 15 guaranteed salaries on its books, and Budinger will be the 19th player the team is bringing to camp. However, the Nets are well below the salary cap – as well as the salary floor – and a handful of those guaranteed contracts are minimum-salary deals, so if someone has to be waived to make room for Budinger, it wouldn’t have a real impact on the club’s flexibility.

Celtics Rumors: Griffin, Westbrook, Budinger

A Wednesday report from Howard Beck of Bleacher Report suggested that rival general managers around the NBA viewed the Celtics as the biggest threat to acquire Russell Westbrook. Those GMs also believed that Thunder GM Sam Presti would be inclined to move Westbrook sooner rather than later if Presti feels that the star point guard is likely to leave in free agency next summer.

As I pointed out when I passed along that report, however, there has been no indication yet that the Thunder are actively exploring a Westbrook deal. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes today that Westbrook’s representatives haven’t received word of any trade talks, and they’d almost certainly be involved in that process — after all, any team acquiring the Thunder star would want to talk to his reps about whether he’d be willing to sign up for a long-term stay with that new team.

As Deveney notes, that doesn’t necessarily rule out an eventual Westbrook trade to Boston, but it probably means that the Celtics haven’t gotten serious about targeting him to this point.

Here’s more from Deveney on the Celtics:

  • The consensus among front-office executives at the Summer League in Las Vegas is that the Celtics will attempt to make a major deal soon, says Deveney.
  • Boston’s top trade target at this point appears to be Blake Griffin. According to Deveney, a three-way scenario has emerged that would involve the Celtics giving up picks in a deal to acquire Griffin, with the Kings getting involved and sending Rudy Gay to the Clippers. However, opposing front-office execs say the C’s are reluctant to give up their 2018 Nets first-round pick or their swap rights to Brooklyn’s 2017 pick.
  • If the Clippers do move Griffin in a deal with the Celtics or another team, they’d want to land draft picks and a “frontline star” to keep them in contention, per Deveney. I’m not sure Gay would qualify as that sort of “star,” but perhaps Doc Rivers feels differently.
  • According to Deveney, several front-office members around the NBA continue to bring up Kevin Love as a Celtics target, even though none of those execs believe that the Cavaliers will be inclined to move Love.
  • Deveney adds (via Twitter) that the Celtics continue to look for shooting help, and have reached out to veteran free agent Chase Budinger.
  • Meanwhile, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald hears from sources that, while the Celtics have expressed interest in Westbrook and Griffin in the past, there have been no recent trade discussions involving either player. However, he acknowledges that Boston remains “very much open” to a major deal, and says situations remain fluid.

And-Ones: Ulis, Dawson, Lawson, Budinger

University of Kentucky coach John Calipari this week erased nearly any doubt that sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis will enter this year’s draft, telling reporters he’ll be drafted this year, as Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal relays. The 20-year-old, who today won the SEC Tournament MVP award, hasn’t made a formal announcement, but Chad Ford of lists him among those “officially” in the draft, for what it’s worth. Ford ranks Ulis as the 25th-best draft prospect this year, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 37th on his top prospects list. See more from around the NBA:

  • Clippers rookie Branden Dawson is in custody on $50K bail after police arrested him this morning on felony domestic violence charges, reports TMZ SportsDan Woike of the Orange County Register confirmed the arrest (Twitter links). The team recalled Dawson, last year’s 56th pick, from the D-League on Saturday.
  • The contract Ty Lawson signed with the Pacers was a prorated minimum-salary deal that covers just the rest of this season, meaning he’s still on track to hit free agency this summer, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. He’ll see $265,068 from Indiana, meaning he came out slightly ahead after giving up $225K in his buyout with the Rockets.
  • Pincus also lists the Pacers with a $5MM cap hit for the waived contract of Chase Budinger, indicating that he didn’t give up any of his salary to secure his release. Previous reports referred to the parting of ways as a buyout.