Former Arizona Wildcats forward Chase Budinger is going to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Budinger spent one injury-shortened season with Minnesota before becoming a free agent. The Timberwolves value Budinger’s shooting ability and were willing to pay $16 million over three years for it.
The third year of the deal is a player option.
Budinger can’t officially sign until July 10.
He suffered torn meniscus in his left game in the sixth game of last season, keeping him out more than four months. Budinger returned for the final 17 games, averaging 9.4 points in 22.1 minutes per game over the course of the season.
Budinger, 25, has averaged 9.4 points per game during his four-year career, shooting 35.8 percent from 3-point range. He spent his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets.
This is the first big payday for Budinger, who was the 44th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. He has earned $2,977,968 in salary, according to basketball-reference.com.
He fills a floor-spreading need on offense for Minnesota, which shot a league-low 30.5 percent from behind the arc — 2.4 percent behind the next-worst team — last season.
USA Today reported that Budinger was also known to be receiving interest from the New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks. He’ll return to a team that includes ex-Cat Derrick Williams, although the two-year pro and former No. 2 pick in the draft, has been the subject of various trade rumors.