The Minnesota Timberwolves made a lot of moves this summer — most notably trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — and they might not be done. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Flip Saunders is shopping veteran forward Chase Budinger and at least a couple of teams have shown interest.
Among talks with several teams, the Detroit Pistons andHouston Rockets have shown an interest, league sources said.
Houston is reluctant to take on the $5 million player option on Budinger’s deal in 2015-16, as are the Pistons, sources said. Nevertheless, the Pistons are taking a long look at Budinger and considering the possibility of making a deal. No trade is considered imminent for Budinger.
The Pistons are a team that would make sense for Budinger. Recent injuries to Jodie Meeks and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have left them thin on the perimeter, and Budinger is a good shooter who would make a fine replacement. It’s not a surprise that the Rockets are looking at him, either: they drafted him in 2009 and in his last season with Houston, he shot 40.2 percent from three-point range.
The biggest drawback for a team looking at trading for Budinger is his health. Since signing with the Timberwolves as a free agent in 2012, he’s dealt with several knee injuries. He missed 59 games in 2012-13 and 41 games last season. With Wiggins and fellow rookie Zach LaVine on the roster, and veterans Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer also figuring to get major minutes, Budinger is simply the odd man out in Minnesota.
Given his health, the Timberwolves can’t expect to get much more than cap relief and maybe a second-round pick for Budinger, but he could be a good buy-low candidate for a playoff team looking to add shooting.