Report: Wolves, Budinger agree to three-year deal
The chase for Chase is reportedly over.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms with the small forward, according to multiple national media outlets. After one injury-maligned season in the Twin Cities, Budinger reportedly is getting a contract nets him $16 million over three years, with the ability for him to opt out after two.
Missing all but 23 games last season with a knee injury that required surgery, the 6-foot-7, 218-pound Arizona product scored 9.4 points per game in the last year of his rookie contract after being traded from Houston. He reportedly has been courted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee and New Orleans.
Budinger's new annual salary of roughly $5.3 million is a huge raise from the $942,000 he made last year. The Timberwolves likely wouldn't have been able to offer so great a number if not for his Bird rights, which Budinger accumulated during two-plus seasons with the Rockets.
He spent his first two season in Houston with Rick Adelman, then was reunited with the current Minnesota coach via the predraft trade last summer. Budinger has spoken repeatedly of his affection for Adelman's tutelage and offensive system.
The Princeton-style, perimeter-centric scheme is part of the reason for Budinger's 40.2 percent 3-point shooting during his last season with the Rockets -- a huge point of emphasis for the league's worst outside shooting team in 2012-13.
He can't officially sign until the NBA releases its salary cap for 2013-14 and the league-wide moratorium ends July 10, but he can tell all other teams he's done discussing business with them. President of basketball operations Flip Saunders, in turn, can focus on landing a 3-point threat shooting guard, presumably to start on the wing opposite Budinger.
Minnesota reportedly extended a multiyear offer to J.J. Redick and been in contact with O.J. Mayo and Kevin Martin.
However, several media sources said Tuesday that Redick is going from Milwaukee to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team, sign-and-trade deal that also involves the Phoenix Suns. That increases Mayo's chances of landing in Minneapolis, given his heavy discussions with the Clippers reported during the past couple days.
Those talks centered around a proposed sign-and-trade scenario. The Timberwolves, who have about $7 million to spend on a shooting guard, may need to come up with something similar if they hope to obtain Mayo.
USA Today Sports reported that Minnesota has offered Martin a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $30 million. According to the report, he's still engaged in talks with Milwaukee and Memphis, and incumbent Oklahoma City also has expressed interest in keeping him around.
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