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Updated: June 26th, 2012 7:04pm
Timberwolves make it official: Chase Budinger acquired from Rockets

Timberwolves make it official: Chase Budinger acquired from Rockets

by Judd Zulgad
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The Minnesota Timberwolves officially announced Tuesday evening what was reported earlier in the day.

The team has acquired 6-7 guard/forward Chase Budinger and the draft rights to 6-9 forward Lior Eliyahu from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the 18th overall pick in Thursday's draft.

"We're excited to add a player like Chase who is a proven shot-maker and also has an excellent all-around game," David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, said in a statement issued by the team. "Chase knows Rick Adelman's system well after playing for him in Houston, and he will be a good fit on our team."

Said Adelman: "Chase was an integral part of our team in Houston my last two years as coach there. He will help our perimeter game with his athleticism and shooting ability. Chase's game has improved in each of his first three seasons in the NBA and we look forward to that continuing here in Minnesota."

Budinger, 24, played three seasons in Houston and has career averages of 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 210 games (35 starts).

Budinger, who will be introduced to the Twin Cities media on Wednesday at Target Center, was the 44th selection overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2009 draft and then was traded on the same night to Houston for a future second-round pick and cash.

In 2011-12, Budinger established career-highs in field goal percentage (.442) and three-point field goal percentage (.402). He also owns a career free-throw percentage of .810.

Budinger played three season at the University of Arizona and averaged 17 points and 5.8 rebounds in 100 games for the Wildcats.

Eliyahu, a native of Israel, has played the past two seasons for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and averaged 11.3 points, on .579 shooting, and 4.1 rebounds in 69 games (56 starts) in 2011-12.

Eliyahu, 26, who is a member of the Israeli national basketball team, was drafted with the 44th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2006 draft and his rights were traded to Houston for cash considerations.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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