Timberwolves Ink Chase Budinger, Kevin Martin to Deals

Both Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin agreed with Minnesota on Tuesday, adding two much needed perimeter shooters to a group that ranked dead last in three-point shooting last season.

Both Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin agreed with Minnesota on Tuesday, adding two much needed perimeter shooters to a group that ranked dead last in three-point shooting last season.

Things just got very interesting for the Timberwolves only a few days into free agency. On Tuesday, Minnesota got things started by coming to terms with RFA SG/SF Chase Budinger on a three year, $16 million pact and made some noise later that day by agreeing to a four year, $28 million agreement with UFA SG Kevin Martin.

Budinger, 25, was originally acquired by the Timberwolves in a draft day trade last summer that sent Minnesota’s 18th overall pick to the Houston Rockets. The Arizona product had trouble staying on the court during his first season for the Pups, as he missed all but 23 games after tearing his meniscus just 6 games into the 2012-13 season. When healthy, he brings strong perimeter shooting and a very high competence of Rick Adelman‘s corner offense, of whom he played for in Houston for two seasons before ultimately landing in the land of 10,000 lakes. He will likely be the starter at small forward with F Derrick Williams and SF Shabazz Muhammad also seeing time at the 3. [Read more…]

Are the Portland Trail Blazers the T Wolves first Legit Rival?

Well, friends, here we are in the midst of another hectic summer of NBA free agency and our Timberpups just cannot seem to catch a break. For starters, the Trail Blazers matched the Wolves offer sheet to Nicolas Batum worth 4 years and roughly $46.5 million, ending the dream of nabbing the 23-year-old rising star who can shoot, defend, and play both shooting guard and small forward (both positions of significant need). Despite signing Kevin Love to a max contract earlier this year, the Timberwolves are loaded with cap space after the amnesty of Darko, trade of Brad Miller, waiving of Martell Webster, while watching both Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph sign elsewhere after being non-tendered. This years crop of free agents was not the greatest in recent memory, but there was no doubt that there were plenty of serviceable players that the Timberwolves could realistically sign.

The Batum saga lasted for approximately 18 days, ultimately culminating in Minnesota fans getting their hopes up followed by an inevitable, oh-so-familiar Minnesota sports letdown. The time that Minnesota spent attempting a sign-and-trade with Portland for Batum was not without its opportunity cost as potential free agent fits OJ Mayo, Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, Landry Fields, Chauncey Billups, and most recently Courtney Lee found new homes. The sting of losing out on Batum was only made worse by seeing other viable wing options fill the needs of contending teams, while limiting Minnesota’s remaining options in free agency. The failed pursuit of Batum not only yielded Portland retaining one of their core pieces, but also contributed to the brewing rivalry between the Timberwolves and Portland.
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Timberwolves Waive Martell Webster, Trade Brad Miller

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As the hope for a sign-and-trade with Portland for Nicolas Batum dwindles, the Timberwolves were busy yesterday clearing cap space with the casualties being Martell Webster and Brad Miller. Webster was waived and bought out for a total of $600,000, ending a mediocre tenure on Minnesota. Bothered with multiple back surgeries spanning his 7-year career, Webster was originally acquired by Minnesota for the 16th overall selection in the 2010 draft. Originally taken with the 6th overall pick out of Seattle Preparatory High School, the hyper-athletic swingman was unable to live up to his lofty expectations while primarily serving as backup to Brandon Roy, and David Kahn saw him as worth the gamble. Fortunately for Minnesota, Luke Babbitt, Portland’s end of the 2010 trade, has averaged a miserable 3.7 PPG thus far into his short NBA career. If the Wolves would have not bought out Webster, he would have been due a $5.7 million team option, a price tag his 10.02 Player Efficiency Rating is undoubtedly not worth.

Minnesota also sent Brad Miller packing to New Orleans along with two future second-round draft picks in exchange for one conditional second-round pick. The picks Minnesota sent to the Hornets are the Nets’ 2013 second-round selection along with Minnesota’s own 2016 second-round choice. Although Miller has stated that he will not play another season and will retire this offseason, he was awaiting a $848,000 buyout before filing his retirement paperwork. The Wolves apparently did not feel comfortable keeping that buyout money on their payroll, and likewise sent out two second-round picks to cover the cost, a price some would feel that is excessive.
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NBA Free Agency: Timberwolves Offseason Plans

A look into the Timberwolves offseason plans

Well here we are, it is July 1 and NBA free agency has just begun. The Timberpups decided to not extend qualifying offers to both Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley, making the pair unrestricted free agents and meaning that they will most likely not be returning in Timberwolves uniforms next season. The club has also pushed back the team option deadlines on both Martell Webster and Brad Miller, as they look to include them in trades over the next few weeks. With potentially $20 million in cap space, Minnesota looks to be a major player in a strong free agent crop this summer.
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