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T-Wolves swingman Budinger has torn left meniscus

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T-Wolves swingman Budinger has torn left meniscus

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Chase Budinger was quickly blossoming into a reliable, and occasionally dynamic, swingman upon reuniting with coach Rick Adelman in Minnesota.

Just as fast, he was sidelined by a knee injury that will keep him out for quite a while. That's just the way it goes for the hard-luck Timberwolves these days.

Budinger will schedule surgery this week to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the Timberwolves announced Sunday night. The surgery will keep him out indefinitely, with a clear timetable being established shortly after he has the procedure.

It's the latest in a slew of injuries to key players for the Wolves, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. All-Star forward Kevin Love is expected to miss at least the first month of the season with a broken right hand and electric point guard Ricky Rubio isn't expected back until the middle of December as he continues rehabbing a torn ACL in his left knee suffered last March.

Budinger was injured Saturday night in Chicago when he landed awkwardly and twisted his left knee under the basket. He was filling in as a starter for Brandon Roy, who missed the game with a sore right knee. The Wolves are also missing backup point guard JJ Barea, who is out with a sprained left foot.

In a quest to add more veterans to a young team, the Timberwolves traded the 18th pick in the June draft to Houston for Budinger, who had played under Adelman with the Rockets two years ago. Adelman coveted his ability to move without the ball and shoot from the outside, and both skills were fully on display early in the season for the Wolves.

Budinger is averaging 11.8 points, and his heady cut to the basket from beyond the 3-point line as time was winding down against Indiana on Friday night resulted in a wide-open layup that won the game for the Wolves. His versatility to play both shooting guard and small forward helped mitigate Minnesota's concerns when Roy tweaked his knee against the Pacers and helped the Wolves to a surprising 4-1 start without their two best players.

But now Budinger will be out for an extended period of time. Typical rehab for an injury of this kind can last two months or more, a tough blow for the Wolves and for Budinger, who is in a contract year.

Of course, the news could have been worse. When Budinger went down against the Bulls and was unable to put any weight on his left leg, many worried that he had torn the ACL and would miss the rest of the season. Now it's possible he could be back before the All-Star break, though the Wolves won't know how long it will take until doctors get a closer look at the extent of the damage during surgery.

How the Timberwolves will fill Budinger's minutes remains to be seen. They play the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. If Roy is unable to play, Russian rookie Alexey Shved could get the start at shooting guard because Adelman simply does not have any other options.

Shved has impressed in his first six games in the NBA, but he is the last remaining healthy shooting guard on the roster. Starting point guard Luke Ridnour, second-year combo guard Malcolm Lee and little-used point guard Will Conroy are the only other healthy guards on the team.

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

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USA TODAY Sports

NBA offseason grades: With Kawhi Leonard, Raptors shined most in Atlantic Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Atlantic Division...

Toronto Raptors, B+

2017-18 finish: 59-23, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Kawhi Leonard, G Danny Green, C Greg Monroe
Out: G DeMar DeRozan, C Jakub Poeltl, C Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors had one of the more consequential offseasons of any NBA team this year. First, they fired Dwane Casey, the 2017-18 NBA Coach of the Year, following a season in which they won 59 games. Then, they pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a deal that featured two perennial All-NBA players. They let go of DeRozan and brought in Leonard in return. If they hadn't parted with DeRozan and Casey, they may have gotten an A. But it's hard to tell how much better they will be following the deal and Leonard does bring with him some concerns based on his quadriceps injury and the fact he has only one year left on his contract. The Raptors do, however, also get points for re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet.

Boston Celtics, C

2017-18 finish: 55-27, conference finals
In: C Robert Williams, G Brad Wanamaker
Out: C Greg Monroe

One year ago, the Celtics flipped nearly their entire roster and brought in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, they mostly stood pat and didn't add much of anything in free agency or trades. Their biggest acquisition was Williams, who they took 27th overall in the first round of the draft. The Celtics will hope they improve from within. They re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes, and should get Irving and Hayward back from injuries. They should have plenty of talent to compete for an NBA Finals berth, but as far as this offseason goes, they didn't do much.

Philadelphia 76ers, D+

2017-18 finish: 52-30, 2nd round of playoffs
In: F Wilson Chandler, C Mike Muscala, G Zhaire Smith, G Landry Shamet
Out: G Marco Belinelli, F Ersan Ilyasova

Where do we begin? This summer was about as dramatic and bad as it could get for the Sixers. First, they had to fire their general manager because of a burner Twitter account scandal. Then, they struck out miserably in free agency with LeBron James and Paul George, and in trade talks for Leonard. After that, Smith - their first round pick - hurt his foot. And along the way, Ben Simmons has been dating a Kardashian, flirting with the curse that has claimed many pro athletes before him. Philly did re-sign J.J. Redick and Johnson, and the Chandler trade was nice, but all in all it was an offseason that fell way short of the Sixers' expectations. That said, they can still get way better next season based solely on their young players taking another step.

New York Knicks, B

2017-18 finish: 29-53, missed playoffs
In: F Mario Hezonja, F Kevin Knox, F Noah Vonleh, C Mitchell Robinson
Out: F Michael Beasley, G Jarrett Jack, F Kyle O'Quinn

It's been a while since the Knicks had an offseason to write home about and this one is no exception. There was nothing they did that would flirt with an A-grade. However, the early returns on their draft are excellent. Knox and Robinson were both standouts in the Summer League and offer fans a little bit more hope about the team's future. As long as Kristaps Porzingis can return this season safe and sound from his ACL tear, the Knicks could take a step forward in 2018-19.

Brooklyn Nets, C+

2017-18 finish: 28-54, missed playoffs
In: F Ed Davis, F Kenneth Faried, F Jared Dudley
Out: F Dante Cunningham, G Nik Stauskas, C Jahlil Okafor

The best news about the Nets' offseason is that their trade with the Celtics, the one that stripped them of years of first round picks, is finally over. Next year, the Nets will have a first round pick. This summer, they once again didn't add any major pieces in the draft, but seemed to make some smart moves in free agency. The Davis deal is solid and Faried may benefit from a change of scenery. More baby steps for Brooklyn.

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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

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USA Today Sports

Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

Friday featured Dmitry Orlov and his jam-packed schedule with the coveted Stanley Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Russia decided to take the Cup to Novokuznetsk (located in the southwest region of Siberia) for a meet and greet with fans by the Ferris wheel at Gagarin City Park.

It should be mentioned that Orlov's day with the trophy was nearly derailed after a travel glitch that sent the Cup to Novosibirsk instead of his hometown. 

Thanks to the ultimate assist from a helicopter, the Cup arrived in style and set up one memorable entrance for the defenseman. 

Orlov released this hype video which highlights his entire day on Instagram: 

Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Talk about a banner weekend for the Washington Capitals. The Ovechkins welcomed their new son, Sergei Aleksandrovich, into the world and Orlov pulled off yet another spectacular day with the Cup.

 

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