The Houston Rockets are signing over Chase Budinger and the draft rights to Lior Eliyahu to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
Houston’s front office has been discussing various deals with several teams in the top 10 and securing the 18th overall pick for Thursday’s draft could give them the ammunition needed to strike an agreement.
Among rumored deals is a move by Houston to send the No. 14 and No. 16 picks to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for the No. 5 pick. The Rockets are also rumored to be moving point guard Kyle Lowry to acquire a top 10 pick.
The biggest push by the team could be acquiring enough assets to trade for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard. All around the league the Houston Rockets desire to secure Dwight Howard has been an open secret and their willingness to trade openly to acquire what they need to secure his services proves their dedication to the acquisition. Insiders believe that recent acquisitions made by the Rockets are exactly what Magic GM Rob Hennigan has been looking for.
Houston’s next big hurdle could be convincing Hennigan who has only been on the job for one week to quickly part with Dwight Howard. According to ESPN “a more measured approach, make one more run at trying to convince Howard to sign an extension before entering the final year of his contract and then trade him later in the summer if those efforts go nowhere.”
If the Rockets acquire the NBA draft picks they need to bring in big talent there are other options on the table including Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks.