NBA / Oct 21, 2009 / 10:00 am

Chase Budinger Is Ready To Contribute In Houston

Chase Budinger

This year’s draft class has the potential for a number of gems to come out of the second round. I think Dejuan Blair, Sam Young, Dajuan Summers and Marcus Thornton will all make an immediate impact this season. But another guy to keep an eye on is someone that we’ve all known about for years: Chase Budinger. Cue the eye rolls.

Even though I think Chase made a mockery of his draft status and did not enter the League when he should have, you cannot deny his potential. Should have stayed in school, should have left early, should have played volleyball. He’s no doubt heard it from all angles by the haters at this point. The start of his NBA journey may not have started the way he thought it would, being drafted 44th overall, but he is in a smart situation with Houston.

After a stellar Summer League (averaging 17.8 points and shooting a ridiculous 72.7 percent from three-point land) and a strong preseason, Budinger is looking more and more like a viable scoring threat for the Rockets this year. Through nine games in the preseason, he is averaging 11.6 points and nearly four boards per game.

Here’s a kid who was projected yearly to go in the lottery and bring Arizona back to the national promised land, and instead fell down on expectations. For the first time in his career, Chase is not being called upon to be “the guy.” Now, he can relax and simply play.

Scoff if you must, but anyone who Lute Olson deems the most talented athlete he’s ever coached, is legit in my book. I may hear snickers that no one is questioning his talent or athleticism, that we are questioning his leadership and if he can be trusted to finish games. To that, I actually agree. But the beautiful thing about the League is that not everyone is going to be a star.

Last year, John Salmons quietly went out and scored 18.3 points per game. Salmons was highly regarded coming out of Miami and had five disappointing seasons before breaking out in Sacramento. Instead of being asked to carry the majority of the team load, Budinger will flourish as a second or third option scorer. Granted, he does need to focus on adding a defensive presence to his game.

With T-Mac gone for who knows how long and no real offensive threats beyond Aaron Brooks, Budinger is going to get shots. If he can continue the output he has produced since the draft, the “Encinitas Enigma” will be a valuable contributor for the Rockets. Coin that phrase and tell ‘em who sent ya.

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  • That’s whats up

    I’m thinking of changing my last name to Budslinger

  • That’s whats up

    Title should read:

    Houston Plays “Pin Your Hopes On The Honky”

  • Dr.Googles

    I hope they atleast win 25 games this season.

  • SWAT

    let the haters roll in…good article fam. from wht i hv seen of dude he can flat out play. bottom line. his d may need a little work but im just really hoping he’s not another steve novak. dude who can shoot the lights out but never sees any PT. H-TOWN UP! lol…

  • len-e

    no need to send me there, dime, budinger looked legit all throughout the preseason. good eye!

  • Ej 333789

    Really “thats what im saying”?? i am a black male and that comment is extremely racist. If someone came into a lebron post or carmelo and said “Pin your hopes on the negro” you dont think it would be called racist? what does it matter if hes white or black, hes a basketball player. I am tired of uneducated fellow african americans pulling the race card left and right but continue to make derogatory remarks towards other races. Quit being a racist and trying to make your “boyz” laugh. Grow up

  • Big Island

    Anytime a player looks like he isn’t rushing anything and getting buckets, it’s a good sign. He looks cool when he plays.

  • flavur

    Don’t sleep on his rookie teammate Jermaine Taylor who was gettin buckets in college. I like the picture looks like he is gonna do some karate move on some fool.

  • Rizwan

    Tank and hope to get John Wall!!

  • control

    Wow, no references to him being white…that’s unusual for an article on a white basketball player. Was expecting at least one ‘casper’, ‘milky’ or ‘crazy cracker’ comment.

  • Celts Fan

    @Control – those’ll come in the comments (and have already started

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Houston Up!

    I don’t care if dude dookie green. Long as he keeps knocking down those shots it’s all good. I must say I am impressed mostly with his consistency so that is good.

    Someone said look out for J.T. and that is true, cause he was doing his thing before being drafted so hopefully he can find his nitch.

    I think Houston’s biggest problem will be the droughts. Someone will most def. have to step up and score and hopefully Brooks will be that dude. Other than that I don’t see where Houston will be bottom feeders as much as folks think.

    SWAT and man if only Steve Novak had seen more PT I think he could have been an outside shooting problem.
    Oh well bring on the games that count!

  • Colton

    am i the only one that is a little surprised that trevor ariza’s name wasnt brought up at all in this article?

  • rangerjohn


    i was also surprised, ariza is the “next big thing” in houston these days so maybe dime is tired of him already too?

  • chris

    brooks, landry, ariza, battier, scola can play. as long as none of them get hurt, and boo-dinger, hayes et al can give decent minutes off the bench, houston might win 45.

  • That’s whats up

    @ Ej 333789
    ” I am tired of uneducated fellow african americans pulling the race card left and right but continue to make derogatory remarks towards other races. Quit being a racist and trying to make your “boyz” laugh. Grow up”

    what makes you so sure I am black?
    or white? …or other?

    If you were a loyal Dime reader you would know – so stay off the hoops blog if you’re just talkin politics.

    …and the problem is these dead-eye shooters can’t get burn in Houston. Novak’s shot is money but it ain’t worth shit if you only see it in layup lines and practice.

  • sh!tfaced

    That’s a lot of 2nd, 3rd and even 4th option players for a team that doesn’t really have a first option…

  • Diego

    Sounds like potentially the 2nd coming of Brent Barry.

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Very surprised this kid was picked in the 2nd round, kid ain’t afraid to shoot and has got hops too. Too bad he didn’t go to a school that had a volleyball program, he’d probably be starting for the national team and have a multi million contract in europe but who could say no to the NBA.

  • Ej 333789

    @ thats whats up

    i guess you’re right, im not going to attempt to cover my comments, i shouldn’t have assumed. I just get irritated when race is unnecessarily brought up. I realize that you and me both just did it so I can’t say anything, and you’re right, stay off the politics