Budinger was acquired by the Timberwolves to help improve their outside shooter but has only appeared in six games for them this season and has been sidelined since early November. Budinger had yet to find his shooting stroke but was averaging career highs in points (11.8) and minutes played before injuring his left knee.
“I just want to be playing again,” Budinger said. “This season has been very frustrating for me personally because I haven’t experienced anything like this before. Just sitting out all year, it’s been tough. It’s been mentally draining. Knowing that the summer is coming up, I just want to be out there to play these final games.”
With Budinger back in the lineup even for limited minutes the Timberwolves have an opportunity to see what they have from the wing position going forward. Budinger is an above average spot up shooter and moves well without the ball, as well as an athletic finisher when healthy. The Timberwolves have been hit with a ton of injuries all season, so seeing Budinger on the court should give the team a much needed boost.
The Timberwolves can build during the summer on any success they have with returning players. Budinger appears to be a factor in Minnesota’s future, and having him back on the court to close out the year will offer hope for fans and the coaching as the Timberwolves try to rebound from a disappointing 2012-2013 season.