Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today 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,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Chase knows Rick Adelman’s system well after playing for him in Houston, and he will be a good fit on our team.”
“Chase was an integral part of our team in Houston my last two years as coach there,” Adelman said. “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.”
The 24-year-old Budinger played three seasons in Houston and has career averages of 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 210 games (35 starts). The 44th overall selection by the Detroit Pistons in the 2009 NBA Draft, Budinger was traded on draft night to the Rockets 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.
An Encinitas, Calif., native, Budinger played three years at the University of Arizona where he averaged 17.0 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. The 26-year-old is a member of the Israeli national basketball team. Eliyahu was drafted with the 44th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 2006 NBA Draft and his rights were traded to Houston for cash considerations.