Associated Press, Published July 02 2013
Timberwolves ink Martin, re-sign BudingerMINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Timberwolves entered unrestricted free agency with two priorities at the top of their list – add a shooting guard with range and bringing back Chase Budinger.
Within the matter of a couple of hours on Tuesday, new team president Flip Saunders accomplished both of those goals.
The Timberwolves agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with shooting guard Kevin Martin and a three-year, $16 million with Budinger, according to two people with knowledge of the deals. Budinger’s deal includes a player option for the final season. The people requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
The agreements, which can’t become official until July 10, were two strong moves to address the team’s woeful outside shooting last season. The Wolves ranked dead last in 3-point shooting percentage last year, and Saunders made it a point to get more shooters to complement point guard Ricky Rubio’s slick passing.
Both players are intimately familiar with coach Rick Adelman’s corner offense, a system that is predicated on quick passing and moving without the ball. Martin played for Adelman in Sacramento and Houston before taking a bench role in Oklahoma City last season. He averaged 14.0 points and shot 42.6 percent on 3s last season and was looking for a chance to get back into a starter’s role.
The 6-foot-7 Martin will get that in Minnesota, which has been looking for a bigger shooting guard after playing the undersized Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea in that role for most of last season.
Budinger averaged 9.4 points and shot 32 percent from 3-point range last season. He only played in 23 games thanks to a knee injury that derailed a promising start to the year, but Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and new President Flip Saunders made no secret of the fact that they badly wanted Budinger back in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves paid Budinger a visit at his San Diego home on Sunday night, arriving just after the market opened at 9:01 p.m. on the West Coast. Budinger also entertained an offer from the Milwaukee Bucks, but ultimately decided to remain with the Timberwolves and a coach he has grown very fond of in his short time in the league.