Minnesota, off to a surprising 4-2 start, didn’t need another injury. But they got one.
Chase Budinger tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee in the Bulls game Saturday and will have surgery later this week, the Timberwolves announced Sunday. There is no timetable for his return until after his surgery.
Budinger was off the best start in his career — 12.4 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting, both career highs. He was playing well in the Timberwolves offense and was getting his shots at the rim or from three and not much in between.
He was coming off the bench behind Andrei Kirilenko and not having him is going to give Rick Adelman headaches and force some lineup shuffling for the Timberwolves, with guys like Derrick Williams maybe getting minutes at the three.
Budinger joins Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love as guys out for an expended period due to injuries, plus Brandon Roy (knee) and J.J. Barea (ankle sprain) are missing time right now.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.