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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Budinger works out for New York Knicks, D’Antoni”

    Chase Budinger
    Chase Budinger

    Chase Budinger’s first NBA workout was on a historical stage, but not in front of an unfamiliar face.

    Budinger, who still hasn’t declared whether he’ll return to Arizona for his junior year in the fall or enter himself in the NBA draft, worked out for the New York Knicks and head coach Mike D’Antoni, who was the head coach of Phoenix for the past five seasons, on Wednesday at the Madison Square Garden Training Center.

    “”Coach D’Antoni was such a popular figure out in Arizona,”” Budinger told “”Everyone in Arizona was a huge Phoenix Suns fan, no matter where in Arizona they were. He was like an icon around that state, and I think they are all very sad that he left.

    “”But I think the Knicks picked up a very respectable coach and I think he is going to do great things here,”” Budinger added. “”I think I would fit in great with him. His system is very similar to what we did out in Arizona under (UA head) coach (Lute) Olson. He likes the uptempo style and to score points. That’s what Coach D’Antoni likes, and I think I fit in perfectly with that.””

    But, of course, nothing is guaranteed until the June 26 draft in New York City. The Knicks have the No. 6 pick and Budinger is expected by most mock drafts to go anywhere from a late lottery pick (the lottery is the first 14 picks) to the early 20s.

    Budinger was one of six NBA prospects to work out for the Knicks on Wednesday at the Madison Square Garden Training Center. Joe Alexander, Sundiata Gaines, Steven Hill, JaVale McGee and Russell Westbrook also worked out for New York.

    Budinger has until June 16 to decide if he’ll stay in the draft.

    “”It was kind of what I was expecting,”” Budinger said of the workout. “”I’d gotten advice on what workouts were like, so I was ready for it. It felt good to get out here and be seen by the scouts and to play against great players.””

    Budinger will have a workout with the New Jersey Nets on Friday, according to the team’s Web site.

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