The Timberwolves officially completed the trade sending Chase Budinger to the Pacers in exchange for Croatian forward Damjan Rudez. Rudez is coming off a rookie year in which he was a part of the Pacers rotation, averaging 15 minutes per game. His primary skill is shooting--he made 40% of his threes as a rookie. That's pretty much all he did, however, as nearly 2/3rds of his shot attempts were from beyond the arc, and his non-shooting stats were practically non-existent. He's under contract for this season at just over $1M, and has a similar team option for 2016-17.
Chase Budinger spent three years with the Wolves following a draft night trade in 2012, but struggled with injuries throughout his time in Minnesota. He finally had a healthy and reasonably productive stretch of basketball over the last couple of months of the season, but with $5M left owed to him for next year, the Wolves were obviously more than willing to move him along for some salary savings.
The deal puts the Wolves at roughly $72M in salary for next year as things now stand.
The Lynx split a pair of games over the weekend, losing in Chicago on Friday night as Elena Delle Donne put 24 on them and they could not stop the highest powered offense in the league. The Sky shot 51% from the field in the 90-83 victory, rendering Maya Moore's 29-10-6 moot.
They returned to Target Center last night and beat up a struggling Stars team 66-49, holding San Antonio to 29% shooting. Moore led the way with 20 points, but this one was over early and the bench played heavy minutes. That's an area that still needs improvement, but the minutes can only help.
Meanwhile, Summer League in Vegas rolls along. Naylor is doing a great job keeping us up to date. The Wolves split their first two games, and play again this evening against the Jazz at 9:30 pm CDT.
I have made my position clear on taking anything away from summer league. Way too often guys who can't play in the NBA look terrific in summer league, and vice versa. I'm told there is actually correlation, especially for rookies, between their performance in summer league and their performance in the regular season. If the numbers say so, it must be true I guess, but I think that while it may be true for the entire universe of rookies, there are enough outliers to make assumptions about individuals based on summer league dangerous.
That said, the one thing I've noticed that makes me happy: Karl-Anthony Towns can pass the basketball. That's something that might be fun this season.
- The Thunder matched on Enes Kanter, and now owe him $70M over the next four years. That's a lot of money.
- The Nets signed Andrea Bargnani out from under the Kings. A battle for Bargnani. No words.
- Joel Embiid is set to undergo bone graft surgery on his foot and will miss another season. Terrible.
1787: Congress establishes Northwest Territory
1863: Anti-draft riot in NYC--rioters lynch blacks, nearly 1,000 die.
1923: "Hollywood" sign is dedicated
1930: First World Cup begins in Uruguay
1943: Russia defeats Germany in famous tank battle of Kursk
1960: John Kennedy nominated at Democratic National Convention