Chase Andrew Budinger (born May 22, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who last played for Baskonia of the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 44th overall pick in 2009 NBA draft after playing three years of college basketball for the University of Arizona.
High school career
Budinger was a standout basketball and volleyball player at La Costa Canyon High School; his teammates on the basketball team included future NFL quarterback Kevin O'Connell. He won the CIF San Diego Section in 2006.
Budinger was a McDonald's All-American and was the runner up in the 2006 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Contest.
Budinger chose to sign with Arizona, although he also received offers from many other schools, including USC and UCLA. He averaged 15.6 points in his freshman season, starting all 30 games for the Wildcats. At the conclusion of the season he announced that he planned to stay with Arizona for his sophomore season, despite speculation that he could be picked early in the NBA draft. However, he later announced that he would declare for the draft and not hire an agent. He was projected as a mid-first-round pick by most draft analysts. However, on the final day of the deadline for pulling out of the early entry list, Budinger opted not to remain in the draft and returned to school instead.
Houston Rockets (2009–2012)
In 2009, he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons, and then traded to the Houston Rockets on draft night. He joined the Rockets' Summer League team, and averaged 17.8 PPG. In the 2009 season opener for the Rockets, Budinger came off the bench and logged 15 minutes of playing time while scoring 6 points and collecting one rebound. On March 30, 2010, Budinger scored 24 points in a 98–94 home win against the Washington Wizards. Three days later he matched this total in a 119–114 road win at the Boston Celtics. On February 23, 2011, Budinger scored a new career-high 30 points in a 124–119 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the Rockets' season finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Budinger scored a new career-high 35 points on 12 of 21 shooting, including 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
In 2012, Budinger competed in the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest, where he performed a dunk over P. Diddy, a wheelhouse slam, and a blindfolded reverse dunk honoring former Slam Dunk Contest winner Cedric Ceballos. However, he ultimately lost to Jeremy Evans by one percent of the votes.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2012–2015)
On June 25, 2012, Budinger, along with the rights to Lior Eliyahu, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the eighteenth pick in the 2012 NBA draft. On November 2, he made his debut for the Timberwolves in a 92–80 win over the Sacramento Kings, recording nine points, five rebounds and one block in 21 minutes off the bench.
Indiana Pacers (2015–2016)
On July 12, 2015, Budinger was traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Damjan Rudež. On October 28, he made his debut for Indiana in a 106–99 loss to the Toronto Raptors, recording two rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes off the bench. On March 5, 2016, he was waived by the Pacers.
Phoenix Suns (2016)
Budinger's parents are Duncan and Māra Budinger. His mother's father, Andrejs Eglītis, was Latvian, and moved to the United States during the Second World War. Andrejs was proud of his descent and wrote a book about it called A Man From Latvia. Budinger's older sister, Brittanie, played volleyball at the University of San Francisco and as a professional in Europe. His older brother, Duncan, also plays volleyball and tours professionally.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Co-MVP of the 2006 McDonald's High School All-American Game (with Kevin Durant)
- 2006 First-team Parade All-American
- Named the Most Valuable Player of the Nike Junior World Championships in Douai, France
- Named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 US Junior Olympic Volleyball Tournament in the 18 and under division.
- 2006 California Mr. Basketball
- 2006 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Contest Runner-Up
- Named the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year