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NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Shopping Budinger?

RUMORS: Timberwolves shopping Chase Budinger? No buyout in Dario Saric’s overseas deal? Brook Lopez injures foot again.

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Timberwolves Shopping Budinger?

The Minnesota Timberwolves are shopping forward Chase Budinger in trade talks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Among talks with several teams, the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets have shown an interest, league sources said.

Houston is reluctant to take on the $5 million player option Budinger’s deal has in 2015-16, as are the Pistons, sources said. Nevertheless, the Pistons are taking a long look at Budinger and considering the possibility of making a deal. No trade is considered imminent for Budinger.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Minnesota currently has 16 players with guaranteed contracts, so they need to get rid of someone before the start of the regular season. It seems that the Timberwolves are gauging interest in Chase Budinger and seeing what options they have as they try to trim their roster.

As Wojnarowski notes in his article, Minnesota has a lot of forwards on their roster so it’s possible that Budinger wouldn’t receive many minutes anyway if he were to remain with the Wolves. That could be one reason why Minnesota would be open to moving Budinger rather than another guaranteed player on their roster.

Detroit and Houston are two possible landing spots for Budinger that this report mentions. Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 said that Indiana is also interested in acquiring Budinger.

Budinger is set to earn $5,000,000 this season and has a $5,000,000 player option for next season. Budinger, 26, averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 rebounds last season, which was his fifth year in the NBA.

No trade is imminent, but this something to keep an eye on as the season approaches. J.J. Barea is someone who the Timberwolves have made available, as Basketball Insiders first reported in July. Some reports have even suggested that Minnesota might just buy out Barea if they can’t move him, which would trim their roster to 15 guaranteed players.

No Buyout in Saric’s Overseas Contract

On Tuesday, word quickly started to spread that Sixers first-round pick Dario Saric may be trying to leave his current team in Croatia sooner than expected, creating optimism he may be making his way to Philadelphia.

According to two sources close to the situation, the chances of Saric ending up in Philadelphia this season are slim-to-none, despite his desire to leave his Turkish team, Anadolu Efes.

The biggest obstacle for Saric coming to the NBA before the end of his two-year contract with Anadolu Efes remains financial. When Saric signed with the team prior to the NBA Draft, he signed on for two seasons. A source familiar with the contract told NJ Advance Media that there is absolutely no buyout clause in the contract whatsoever. The only way Saric could get out of the contract before the start of the 2016 NBA season would be if his team let him out.

That is a big deal, because it means that Saric is at the mercy of Anadolu Efes, and has no option to leave unless the team allows him too.

via Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ Advance Media

As we covered earlier this week, Dario Saric’s father went on record saying that he was unhappy with Anadolu Efes – the team that Saric currently plays for – because his son had been inactive for the team’s first two games. He even stated that they would “pay to breach the contract” if the team continued to sit Saric, which immediately got fans in Philadelphia excited because they thought they might have their lottery talent available this year when it was assumed that he’d be overseas for at least the entire 2014-15 NBA season.

However, as this article states, sources have said that there is no buyout in Saric’s deal so Anadolu Efes has all of the power in this situation. It’s possible that the two sides could agree on a deal to let Saric out of his contract, but they have no clause in the contract stating they must do so.

Saric signed this two-year deal prior to the 2014 NBA Draft, because his father wanted him to play overseas before coming to the NBA. Now, that obviously hasn’t worked out for Saric and it remains to be seen how this will play out over the next two years.

The fact that they are already having so many issues two games into the deal could encourage Anadolu Efes to let him go for a price, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.

The Sixers can only contribute up to $600,000 to help Saric get out of his contract if it comes to that.

Lopez to Miss Two Weeks With Foot Injury

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez sustained a mild right midfoot sprain in the first quarter of the Nets’ preseason contest against Sacramento on October 15th, Nets General Manager Billy King has announced.

“Brook Lopez experienced right foot soreness after being stepped on during the pre-season game against the Kings Wednesday night,” Nets Medical Director Dr. Riley Williams III said. “X-ray and CT scan studies done Thursday in New York reveal no fractures or bone injuries. Brook has been diagnosed with a mild midfoot sprain and is likely to be out for approximately 10-14 days.”

via Nets press release

This is obviously bad news for Brook Lopez, considering he missed all but 17 games last season because he injured his right foot and required season-ending surgery.

He has missed 134 games over the last three seasons, so his health is obviously a huge concern at this point. The big man has had a number of procedures done on his foot.

Hopefully Lopez will only be sidelined for 10-14 days, as the Nets project, but it’s not a good sign that he is dealing with right foot issues once again.

Lopez played in the Nets’ first three preseason games, averaging 18 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.3 minutes.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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