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Pacers trade rumors: Does Chase Budinger make sense for the Pacers?

Rare will be the trade rumor this season that doesn't include the Pacers, so it is no surprise to hear they are interested in what Minnesota may have to offer.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

While watching Minnesota play the Pacers in the preseason opener, I was struck by how many young wing players the team has and the fact they were all playing ahead of Chase Budinger, an athletic wing player who has caused the Pacers problems in the past (don't forget the 'man' in ball-man defense, Gerald Green!).

Corey Brewer, Robbie Hummel, Shabazz Muhammad and Glenn Robinson II are all in the mix at small forward along with Budinger, plus Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine at the other wing. Not hard to figure Budinger would be traded at some point this season.

OK, how about before the season?

Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that the Wolves were indeed shopping Budinger with Houston and Detroit showing initial interest. Darren Wolfson from ESPN 1500 in Minneapolis added that the Pacers were also showing interest.

The Pacers could use another true wing player but is Budinger the answer, a player who has struggled to stay healthy, had knee surgery last year and has only played a combined 64 games over the past two seasons? Assuming the health woes are behind him, Budinger also comes with a player option for $5 million next season which is reasonable for a rotation player.

With Paul George back in the mix next year, dealing for Budinger would also assume the Pacers aren't expecting much out of Solomon Hill. That may also be the case despite preseason talk to the contrary.

So who would the Pacers part with? Chris Copeland or Ian Mahinmi make the most sense from a match standpoint, since they could use Cope as a stretch four and obviously don't need any other wing players. Looking at the landscape of both teams makes a deal look challenging unless they involve other players.

Here's how Budinger almost single-handedly pushed Gerald Green out of the playing rotation two years ago.