The beautiful thing about Chase Budinger is that he's produced all three years of his college career, and he's a superb athlete, even compared to his peers. He was arguably the best men's volleyball prospect of his class, and he finished second in the 2006 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Contest. Funny then, that the knock on him, and why he likely won't be drafted in the lottery, is because his production doesn't seem to come from all that raw power and explosiveness, but from his finesse game.
For a guy who can bring the ball up the floor and leap out of the gym, it's striking that Draft Express says his one superior skill is his spot up shooting ability. I'd be willing to bet that he'll be the most fun rookie to play with in video games, a lot like Joe Alexander played in video games this past season. However, unlike Alexander, who will need more time to acclimate to the NBA game and polish his skills, Budinger appears to be the kind of guy who's more polished than a lot of other prospects, but hasn't shown the monster athleticism lurking within.
In many ways, I think he's a bizarro version of Rudy Gay, a guy everyone acknowledges can do amazing things on the court, but rarely seems to actually do them, instead settling for the avenue of least resistance. With Budinger, he may have the capacity to get nasty and blow through opponents on his way to the rim, while mixing in a more-than-adequate three point shot to keep 'em honest, and using his great overall athleticism and length to hound ballhandlers on the other end... but if he hasn't done it at the college level, what makes us think he'll do it in the pros? He'd have to change his basketball DNA to do it, which could certainly happen, but I'm not sure we're in a position to bet a lottery pick on that outcome.
I realize I'm harping on negatives, and I alwasy try my best to stay away from that, but it's VERY hard not to fall into the trap of inflating negatives until you start to think that nobody is worth drafting. Budinger's produced in college, no matter the process. While the process gives reason for pause, we can't deny that he deserves real consideration.