Nov 2, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger (10) against the Sacramento Kings at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Kings 92-80. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Budinger: Absence Makes the Heart is Always Greener

With all of the personnel speculation that March Madness (and in Chase Budinger’s case, successful 5×5 practices) brings — draft boards, MLB fantasy baseball drafts, NFL players migrating — it’s tough not to look at the roster the Wolves have been forced to trot out there and dream about the other moribund franchises getting ready to move on from their questionable investments gone to seed.

A recent email conversation began thusly:

Let me throw this one out for you guys, I have been thinking about it all year…we need a 2-guard next year, Tyreke Evans is pretty much odd man out in Sacramento and after a big rookie season all his numbers have gone down.  Part of it is they keep moving him from PG to SG to SF and back and the coaching turnover, DMC etc, Sacramento is a mess.  But the guy is talented, do you dangle an offer to him?  Try to get him and see if you can salvage something from him?
I am very intrigued by him, the talent, the physical nature of his drives to the hoop, get him attacking like he did his rookie year when he was one of the top guys in the league in attempts at the rim.
Not sure how well he fits Adelman’s system per se, but he could be a nice, relatively cheap addition.

My knee-jerk generalizing, ideologically manic-overreaction:

Evans is an 0-guard, in that — in his prime, which at this point was his rookie year — he could create for himself and dump or kick to shooters. Once the book was out that he couldn’t shoot, you could lay off him and watch him try and try and create. And then once he got teammates who needed the ball, too (DMC, Thornton, Thomas), he was told to play well with others.

Enter: the downhill trend of a player who can’t play off the ball (make AK cuts, stick open shots) and the league has let him keep on trying to be D-Wade or Derrick Rose ever since.

If you like watching JJ pound the life out of the rock, you love the idea of Evans — but what about Tyreke do you think would make Adelman not kill him? He can’t shoot and dominates the ball.

To the shot chart:

Tyreke Evans’ shot chart.

And now — not setting the bar too high — check Corey Brewer’s shot chart for comparison.

Corey Brewer’s shot chart.

That’s Corey Brewer’s chart shaming Tyreke Evans’. Look at all of the red that changed to yellow. Take a look at Courtney Lee’s…

Courney Lee’s shot chart.

Look at all the green. Last one: Chase Budinger.

Chase Budinger’s shot chart.

Look at those corners. Actually, look at the whole right side from 3. (Might even look better next to Derrick Williams on the left.) This is 2011-12 Chase, but you get the picture.

As far as personnel this season, I hate that Ridnour is the starting 2 (2 years running) but at least he moves the ball and — in theory — can shoot it. (In theory.) A big 2 who could play d — Ronnie Brewer, Thabo Sefolosha, Tony Allen-types would be a worst-case scenario pair with Ricky. If that bigger, solid defending 2 could shoot? All the better. If that 2 could be a secondary ballhandler? Done deal.

At this point, with Ricky as your point guard who (at this point) can’t dependably shoot it; the 2’s gotta do what the 3 doesn’t. The fact AK can’t shoot and Love hasn’t been around, means the 2 has to. So, it’s Ridnour until Chase is back.

Best case? Tyreke would make a good Harden-type leader of the 2nd unit. Just dominate the ball and run wild, don’t worry about defending. Sure, the physicality of lowering a shoulder and barreling to the hole is different than what the Wolves have, but does that make it better? If Tyreke is dominating the 2nd unit, what would happen to this guy?

No thanks.

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Tags: Chase Budinger Corey Brewer Courtney Lee Minnesota Timberwolves Offseason Moves Tyreke Evans

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