The Wolves news of the day was Chase Budinger returning to basketball related activities. Bud returned to the team after being exiled in Florida. Why Florida? The Wolves Mark Remme reports…
Budinger said the biggest reason for rehabbing in Florida near the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine was because it allowed him to have a full-time trainer focused on him while the Wolves’ team trainers could focus exclusively on the team itself. While he was away, he worked his way up to the shooting and treadmill running by doing under-water treadmill work.
I’m a little confused by the Wolves’ reluctance to invest in maintaining their players health — never mind investing in drafting the best ones with an analytics-based upgrade in evaluation — but the employees you are already paying are injured and rather than keep an eye on Bud and his treatment and progress, you send him down to Florida and just let the Andrews folks take care of it? I don’t know if that’s a pro-active, 21st century approach. I mean, what would the Phoenix Suns do? Anyway…
Coach Rick Adelman said Budinger won’t immediately begin traveling with the team, but that could happen within the next couple weeks. In the meantime, simply having him back around is an important first step.
An important first step to fixing the worst scoring bench in the league. At just over 23 points a game and less than a point behind the Toronto Raptors, the bench is a legitimate concern, but not without potential fixes. The return of Bud would be one, but the resurgence of Alexey Shved would be another.
Adelman’s system requires at least two ball handlers to work — we saw with Luke Ridnour starting last year over Bud, the preference of Adelman — the presence of Dante Cunningham makes Derrick Williams an out of place small forward, but now the presence of Robbie Hummel makes Williams end of the bench material. If Shved can’t get it together — despite his apathetic approach thus far, he did have two possessions in Denver where he actually moved in the direction of the rim before not scoring — Williams and Shved possess enough salary between them, if not enough talent, to give the Wolves enough room to play with in pursuing a quality ball handler who can shoot or defend to take some heat off JJ Barea.
Again, this is if Shved can’t get it together.