Chase Budinger, Taj Gibson

Report: Chase Budinger reaches three-year deal to return to Minnesota


Chase Budinger is the kind of explosive wing player that the Timberwolves need, it’s just that last season he was injured for much of the campaign (knee surgery, he played just 23 games). Just like the rest of the roster.

But the value is still there and the Timberwolves realized it.

That’s why the two sides have agreed to a three year, $16 million deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (the third year is a player option).

The third year of the deal will be a player option, a source said. Budinger’s agent, Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports, had been negotiating offers between the two most aggressive suitors, Minnesota and Milwaukee, over the past two days.

This is a good deal at about the going rate. Budinger’s athleticism is a great fit here, especially in transition with Ricky Rubio dishing the ball and Kevin Love making outlet passes.

Flip Saunders and Minnesota played this well, essentially putting offers for Budinger and J.J. Redick out there and seeing who would bite first.

Healthy these Timberwolves are a playoff team, but they have one glaring hole and that is a floor-spacing two guard. Redick is one option but there are others out there as well. However Minnesota was dead last in the league shooting 30.4 percent as a team from three last season and that number needs to go up.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.