The Houston Rockets, apparently undeterred by comments that he's not interested, are marshaling resources to make a pitch for Dwight Howard. Early Tuesday, Houston sent Chase Budinger to the Timberwolves for the #18 pick and the rights to Lior Eliyahu, an Israeli forward. Now, there's word they may be able to trade Kyle Lowry to the Raptors for the #8 pick.
That would give the the Rockets the #8, #14, #16 and #18 picks, which could become a big part of what Orlando might want for Howard, although Howard, through his representatives, has reportedly let Houston know that he won't re-sign once his contract runs out in July 2013. The Rockets believe they can convince him to stay and hope to use one of his mentors, Hakeem Olajuwon, to help them. According to reports, Brooklyn remains Howard's preferred destination.
Should the Magic decide against making a Draft Day deal, Marc Stein reports, Houston will keep working to flip those picks as part of package for an impact player, like Josh Smith or go higher in the lottery.
- Sources: Rockets get 18th pick in NBA draft with trade of Chase Budinger to Timberwolves - Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo! Sports
- Minnesota Timberwolves to send 18th pick to Houston Rockets, sources say - Chad Ford & Marc Stein - ESPN
Brooklyn Nets get creative to wish Deron Williams happy birthday - John Hollinger - ESPN
- Rockets trade Budinger to Timberwolves for 18th pick - Jonathan Feigen - Houston Chronicle
Rockets have nothing to lose in pursuit of Howard - Jerome Solomon - Houston Chronicle
- Rockets could be attempting to gain picks to offer deal for Howard - Josh Robbins - Orlando Sentinel
Wolves trade 18th pick to Houston for Chase Budinger, prospect - Jerry Zgoda - Minneapolis Star-Tribune