Until last week, Chase Budinger had played in just six games for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2012-2013 NBA season because of a knee injury. This was a huge disappointment for Minnesota, who had brought Budinger to the team to provide them with another versatile forward that could shoot the three efficiently.
Without Budinger and their star, Kevin Love, the Timberwolves have been the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA this season, shooting just 29.4 percent from long range as a team. However, Budinger returned to action on March 21 and has shown promise since getting back.
The Wolves are obviously trying to ease him back into the rotation and back into game-shape in his first couple of games, playing him an average of just 17.7 minutes per game. Budinger has taken advantage of those minutes, though, averaging nine points, 2.7 rebounds and one steal per game. More importantly for Minnesota, he has also shot 50 percent from the field and 3-8 from beyond-the-arc in the three games since he’s returned from injury.
If Budinger continues to play like this for the remainder of the season, it’s good news for both him and the Timberwolves. Budinger becomes a free agent at the end of this season, but it’s been noted that Minnesota considers him a potential part of their future. If he’s able to produce efficiently and at the level that he has lately when his minutes increase, all signs seem to point towards the fact that Budinger will be around next season for the Timberwolves. For his and the team’s sake, hopefully everyone can stay healthy next year and they can both realize their potential.