If you thought the storylines in the NBA were going to lull after the NBA Finals, guess again. The Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves began the first of what is expected to be a plethora of player movement leading up to the NBA Draft on June 28. The Wolves acquired forward Chase Budinger and the rights to Israeli prospect Lior Eliyahu from the Rockets for the 18th pick in Thursday’s draft. Budinger will now join last year’s No.2 overall pick Derrick Williams, Wes Johnson, and (G-F) Martel Webster in what is shaping up to be a crowded swing position for Minnesota.
Budinger, 24, averaged 9.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22.6 minutes, and had a PER of 14.92 for Houston last season. He’s a good finisher at the basket and shot a torrid 40.2 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 1.5 threes a game. In terms of value it’s a good move for the Wolves, as they get a player who can score in bunches to help a team that finished 10th in the league in points per game last season. Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph are both restricted free agents this summer, and with Minnesota’s payroll hovering around ~$57 million (including options), the Timberwolves are likely to be reluctant to match any outside offer. While Derrick Williams looks to be a prototypical swing-man, trying to move Wes Johnson for a more traditional shooting guard to play alongside Ricky Rubio could be next on Kahn’s list items to do.
For the Houston Rockets and GM Daryl Morey, the move seems simple. Acquire another pick (14, 16 and 18) in order to try and move up to land one of the bigger impact players in the draft (i.e. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal), or make a legitimate push for Dwight Howard. The Magic, who are still looking for a new head coach, recently hired 30-year-old Rob Hennigan (Sam Presti’s protege) as their new GM, which could signal a change in philosophy in rebuilding the team through the draft rather than through the free agent market.
With all the upheaval in Orlando, Morey could put together one of the more enticing packages of young talent mixed with draft picks for the Magic to consider. In theory, Houston could offer their three first round picks in this year’s draft, and any number of young talented players, including Marcus Morris, Kyle Lowery, Patrick Patterson, or Chandler Parsons in a blockbuster deal for Orlando’s big man.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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