The Timberwolves sorely missed him. They finished last in the NBA in 3-point shooting and had to rely almost exclusively on the pick-and-roll on offense, something that Adelman has historically been reluctant to do in favor of his more free-flowing, motion-based corner offense. But without Budinger there to make cuts away from the ball and come off screens, the Wolves had to simplify things.
After Andrei Kirilenko declined his $10.2 million option with the Wolves to become a free agent, a starting job opened at small forward. The promise of significant playing time, coupled with Adelman and pass-happy point guard Ricky Rubio, no doubt played a role in his decision. The deal, which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, cannot be officially signed until July 10.
With Budinger back in the fold, the Wolves now turn their attention to adding another 3-point shooter at shooting guard. They're in the market for a big guard who can knock down open 3s and who won't be such a mismatch defensively against some of the Western Conference's prototypical shooting guards the way Luke Ridnour was.
Potential targets for the Wolves include Mavericks free agent O.J. Mayo and Thunder free agent Kevin Martin, who played for Adelman in Sacramento and Houston.
The Wolves will also have to address restricted free agent center Nikola Pekovic, who is expected to receive significant offers on the open market once Dwight Howard makes a decision on where he is going. Saunders has said that the Wolves, who can match any offer made, will do whatever it takes to keep him.
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