RandBall: Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and the Wolves
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- July 3, 2013 - 9:06 AM
OK, forget everything we said yesterday. Actually, don't forget it. Just know that by signing Kevin Martin -- one of the three shooting guards they and plenty of other teams were going after -- along with re-signing Chase Budinger, the Wolves' need for long-distance shooting has been met. And they still have enough pieces/roster flexibility to keep re-shaping their roster. Also, landing two players who played previously for Rick Adelman means they are not only familiar with his system but is also a strong indication that he is coming back to coach. Nothing is guaranteed and money surely played a role, but we're guessing Budinger and Martin would not have signed without some evidence that Adelman would return.
The Flip Saunders honeymoon is not over; it was simply delayed.
Martin is a 6-7 scorer; you can see he is legitimately sized when you look at him in relation to Luke Ridnour, who tried gamely to play the two-guard spot last year but often was physically overmatched. He might be challenged defensively, but he is a guy who has averaged at least 23 ppg in three different seasons.
The 2010-11 Rockets, which featured both Budinger and Martin (along with Adelman as coach) made 677 three-pointers and ranked ninth in the league at 36.7 percent made. Last year's Wolves, beset by injuries to shooters and everyone else, made just 450 and had the second-worst three-point shooting percentage (30.5) of any team in the past decade. Last year's Wolves won 31 games; the Rockets team in question won 43.
Three-point shooting is not the only metric we are going on here, but 43 wins is a reasonable expectation considering all Minnesota has coming back (Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and presumably Nikola Pekovic, among others).
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