MINNNEAPOLIS — It’s merely a formality, but Chase Budinger surely can rest a bit easier tonight.
After celebrating his agreement to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 2, the unrestricted free-agent small forward made it official Friday. The team announced it signed him to an undisclosed salary, though media reports say he’ll make $16 million over three years, with a player option on the third year of his contract.
Budinger has been in the Twin Cities for a few days and was seen milling around the Timberwolves’ summer league practices. He was one of the first items crossed off Minnesota’s 2013 free agency checklist. He discussed options with a couple of other teams but quickly decided he wanted to stick around.
The 6-foot-7, 218-pound Arizona product missed all but 23 games last season with a knee injury that required surgery and scored 9.4 points per game in the last year of his rookie contract after being traded from Houston. Budinger’s amicable relationship with coach Rick Adelman and his system is well-noted, dating back to their days together in Houston.
In Budinger’s second season there, he shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range. The Timberwolves hope the fully healthy version of him can replicate that performance and help them improve on their league-worst outside shooting percentage of a year ago.
It’s likely Budinger will start at the wing opposite Martin, who Minnesota announced yesterday was on his way to town as part of a three-team, sign-and-trade transaction. Those two also spent 1 1/2 seasons together with the Rockets under Adelman.