How Memphis Grizzlies Would Benefit from Acquiring Chase Budinger

Dilan AmesCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2014

Jan 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger (10) against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 104-103. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Memphis Grizzlies are trying hard to improve their team before the trade deadline. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, The Grizzlies are in talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves about a trade that would essentially swap Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen for J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger.

This would be a great chance for the Grizzlies to invest in their future, while also shoring up their rotation a bit in the meantime in order to make a push for the playoffsThough they would be parting ways with a great defender in Allen, they would be getting back a quality package in Budinger and Barea. 

Barea is an efficient shooter whose field goal percentage isn't terribly far off from Mike Conley's, their starting point guard. He also is very good at the free throw line (has shot 78 percent this season) and is solid from beyond the arc. 

Jan 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger (10) shoots against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Timberwolves 94-89. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

While he's not the perimeter defender that Allen is, Barea's ability to come off the bench as a pretty reliable shooter is what sweetens the pot. 

Moving Prince for Budinger is the main focus of Memphis, as Prince has had a dreadful season and ishooting just 39 percent from the field.

While Budinger hasn't had the best stats either thiseason, he would be more of an investment than an immediate contributor, but he's a much better option than keeping the struggling, 33-year-old Prince.

We also can't forget that Budinger istill knocking off the rust as he returned to the court a little over a month ago after missing the first part of the season following knee surgery.

Budinger hasteadily improved and gotten his bearingsince making his return in January, and hascored double-digit points in each of the T-Wolves' last three contests. He's also been shooting 76 percent on his free throws in that stretch, tallying 13 rebounds in addition to that.  

Chase Budinger's last three games
Opp.Min.PointsFT %Rebounds3-pt %
Denver Nuggets271250%143%
Houston Rockets2815100%733%
Portland Trail Blazers291980%550%

The point of emphasis with the Budinger trade is that he isn't expected to be more than a role player for the Grizzlies at this point in time, but can do well with minimized responsibilities in Memphis' offense and could develop into a great player.

As it sits right now, Memphis is only a couple games behind the eighth seed in the Western Conference, meaning the Grizzlies are still very much alive in the playoff race in the West.

If they do manage to acquire Budinger, he may be able to give them that extra push they need in the second half of the season to lock in a playoff spot and compete for a championship. Memphis is a talented team that would be hard to stop in the playoffs should they get hot.