Wolves Chase for a Bud…inger player? WORD PLAY!

Zach Harper —  June 26, 2012 — 9 Comments

Wolves have taken themselves out of the 18th pick fiasco that I babbled about yesterday by dealing it to the Houston Rockets for Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu.

The Eliyahu aspect of the trade shouldn’t really matter. He’s a good athlete that really can’t shoot or do much with the ball. I guess a guy like Rubio could make him valuable in the open court on some level, but he really shouldn’t have a real chance at making the team if the Wolves are serious about filling out this roster. He’ll be at Summer League and we’ll see how he’s progressed.

As far as Chase Budinger goes, I love this deal for the Wolves. Is Chase Budinger a future star in the NBA? No. It’s also unlikely the Wolves would have picked up a wing player at 18 that would have provided the instant production that Chase will bring to the team. Terrence Ross falling to the Wolves seems like the only way the team could have maximized this pick. Otherwise, it’s a lot of square pegs into holes that already have square pegs there.

Chase Budinger is as good of an athlete as anybody that will be available, so let’s not pretend they downgraded there. He’s also a guy that shot 40.2% from 3-point range last year. Not only did he shoot 40.2% from 3-point range last year but he can make corner 3s as well.

Check out the next three shot charts. 

Guess which one is Chase Budinger, guess which one is Wes Johnson and guess which one is the Wolves.

I’ll give you a hint: Chase’s shooting chart is the one that didn’t shoot 36.1% or 28.3% from the corner 3.

He can flat-out stroke the ball from long-range and knows how to move the ball to get open for those shots. Having guys like Rubio and Ridnour passing to him on penetration or having Love play a handoff, 2-man game with him out of the high post will be a really nice weapon for Minnesota.

He’s not a great defender. His one-on-one defense was adequate last year, but he gets lost in defensive rotations and doesn’t close out well on the ball. His help defense could use a lot of direction, but it’s possible it can be adequate with the way the Wolves played defense before Rubio went down.

Overall, the Wolves didn’t maximize value for the 18th pick but they also didn’t just give it away. As Tim Allen mentioned on Twitter, Budinger has never had a WS/48 under a .095 and the Wolves haven’t had a wing player with over a .094 the last three years. The Wolves upgraded their talent in a definite way. It’s a decent at worst start to the offseason.

And we know Diddy won’t be able to stop him at the rim.

Zach Harper

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9 responses to Wolves Chase for a Bud…inger player? WORD PLAY!

  1. I’m fine with this trade. Plus he knows Rick Adleman’s system and can come in right away contribute. I worry more about the next moves in FA. There isn’t a home run hitter out there and I would hate to waste any cap space or trade D-Will just to make a move for a medicore player. The team should make the playoffs if Rubio comes back healthy and 2013 looks like a better summer for FA’s.

  2. I like it. They needed some competence on the wing and they’ll get it with Budinger. Does this move portend anything about Derrick William’s future with the team?

  3. I think the quote above sums it up best – “overall, they didn’t maximize value for the pick but they also didn’t just give it away.” Shouldn’t we expect more from Wolves management than that? I don’t agree with the notion that this is the best that they could do with such a late first round pick, especially in a draft that seems to have some quality guys that could slip for whatever reason. In fact, there are often guys that fall in the draft, like a Rondo, Dejuan Blair, etc., that somehow slip through the cracks and somebody (not the Wolves) wind up getting as a steal. This reminds me a lot of the Martell Webster deal, and we’ve seen how that turned out. I’m curious to see what a team like Boston does with their picks – do they trade those picks for known talents with less upside, or do they draft some young blood with upside? I like the nucleus of talent that the Wolves have, but it’s not so good that I think they can spend these types of opportunities on guys whose ceilings are pretty much defined at this point. Can he help the Wolves make the playoffs? Probably (hopefully) yes. But I’d rather have the Wolves taking chances on young blood for that piece that makes them a championship contender, not just another also-ran playoff team.

  4. This reminds me of the Webster deal as well, but with one significant difference- Martell was on a 3 year deal at almost 6 mil per, and Budinger is on a 1 year at 900k.

    I actually think that they did maximize the value of the 18 pick. To me, realistically, the most you can get out of a 18-30 pick is that you hope to select someone who ONE DAY turns into a starting player. Even Rondo, Redd, or Budinger himself, who all fell in the draft, had to DEVELOP into a suitable rotation player. Budinger knows the system and will not need to “develop” in any way. He is what he is, which is a solid rotation player in the NBA.

    In addition to this, there is a significant financial aspect to this deal, as the #18 pick would make something in the 1.4 mil range for at least two years.

    The Wolves saved over a million dollars and added a starting wing plus a fringe prospect for the #18 pick. I have a hard time expecting them (or anyone else) to do better than that.

  5. Someone who can shoot 3s. Besides Kevin Love. Bye bye Wes Johnson.

  6. I think this was an okay move in terms of personnel and a great move economically, which is the most we should expect from current Wolves management as opposed to some hypothetical ideal management team. I believe David Kahn now understands what he is as an NBA executive. He is very good at running the team thriftily and not wasting Glen Taylor’s money. He has only a layman’s ability when it comes to assessing basketball talent, which should not be surprising given he is a lawyer/sportwriter/businessman with zero playing, scouting or coaching experience. This lack of insider expertise shows most when he has to draft players outside of the high lottery (some would say within it, but usually it is pretty clear who the first half dozen picks should be and he can make chalk picks like Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams just as well as the next guy). So the odds of Kahn making a brilliant pick with #18 was low, and if you are going to pay the next Wayne Ellington a guaranteed $5 million over three years to average six points per game, it certainly makes much more financial and basketball sense to pay Chase Budinger $800,000 to average probably double that for one year and see what you got. So a very good move, when adjusted by the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  7. Seems like a bit of a waste if you think about this another way. Would the Wolves even sign Budinger if he were a free agent? I would think not. This is a 3 year veteran player who only played 20 minutes a game on a mediocre team for the last three years that did not appear to improve those three years. On the Wolves he likely plays 20 minutes a game as well. The 18th pick is a marketable asset. The Wolves could have used that asset in a package deal to gain a different player or even trade that pick for a pick in a future draft which both seem like better deals for the Wolves. This seems like a bad move in terms of maximizing assets.

  8. Buddinger was a good pick up for the Wolves. he has the athleticism to be the next Dan Marljle

  9. I’ve been a follower of chase budinger’s career since his high school days when he was a top 5 player. the reason this is a great pick up for your franchise is that chase and k love are great friends and former teammates from their days on the aau circuit. go back to summer 2006 and k love and budinger formed the best team in the summer that year and budinger was the go to guy. k love and budinger play beach volleyball in so cal in the summertime together too. in terms of players who k love can trust, it seems like budinger would be on the top of the list.

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