Throughout the 2013 NBA offseason, the Minnesota Timberwolves have had arguably the most improvement out of any team in the league. They addressed their perimeter needs in a huge way bringing in guys like Kevin Martin, Shabazz Muhammad — via the draft — and re-signing Chase Budinger.
The one I’m most excited to watch in 2013 is Budinger, simply because the kid is only 25 years old and has plenty of things to like about his game.
Budinger is a 6’7” swingman that is capable of playing either shooting guard or small forward. He likes to do a variety of things offensively and for the Wolves, that will be a huge asset to have. Budinger is athletic and can finish at the hoop, but also considers himself a pure shooter.
His career three point percentage of nearly 36 percent isn’t too shabby, but it’s what he did in his most recent healthy season before joining the Wolves that will turn some heads. He finished 2011 with a three point percentage of 40.2 with the Houston Rockets.
If he gets a full season in Minnesota, he’ll undoubtedly be able to match or exceed that mark. The biggest reason being is due to the play of point guard Ricky Rubio. Budinger has never played with a guy like Rubio; someone who can set his teammates up unlike anybody else.
Rubio will find ways to get the ball to Budinger this year and sometimes, as usual, you won’t even see the pass coming. Rubio makes these types of plays look easy. The disappointment recently has been that he has nobody to knock down the open shots, though. Budinger changes that right now.
With the former Arizona product healthy for a full year and next to a guy like Rubio, I see him having a career season and contributing to the Wolves’ in a big way, especially offensively. Minnesota needed shooting badly, and luckily, Budinger was brought back just for that reason.