Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has a reputation for acquiring assets. That is apparently what he is planning on doing in the days leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft in hopes of landing Dwight Howard via trade from the Orlando Magic. The Rockets have added a third first round draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves, sending swingman Chase Budinger north.
Houston Receives: 18th pick
Minnesota Receives: G/F Chase Budinger, rights to Lior Eliyahu
Why This Makes Sense for Houston:
Daryl Morey loves collecting assets and that’s what this deal is all about. Houston now has the 14th, 16th, and 18th picks but obviously won’t be keeping all three. The rumors have them trying to make a run at packaging those picks to move up in the draft, and then make an offer for Dwight Howard that could include picks, Kyle Lowry, and Luis Scola. It’s a bold, balsy strategy especially since Howard doesn’t have Houston on his wish list and would likely be a one year rental. Josh Smith and Tyreke Evans have also been rumored as potential targets for the Rockets.
Why This Makes Sense for Minnesota:
It was unlikely that any of the top shooting guards in the draft were going to fall to 18 so Minnesota turns that pick into a proven commodity in Budinger who can provide some scoring punch off the bench. They must not have been in love with anyone that would likely be on the board at 18 and realize their gaping hole on the wing for a scorer. More importantly as my good friend Peter Christian pointed out, the TWolves can now put a whiteout starting five on the floor. That’s exciting.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.