Rockets trade Budinger to Wolves, eyeing Dwight Howard

The Minnesota Timberwolves have acquired Chase Budinger along with rights to Lior Eliyahu in a trade with the Houston Rockets in exchange for the 18th overall pick it the draft. The Rockets now own the 14th, 16th and 18th picks in the first round.

24-year-old Budinger played three seasons in Houston. His career averages are 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

27-year-old Eliyahu from Israel played for Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv most of his career. He’s 206 cm tall and can play both wing positions.

Rockets now with three first-round picks will try to make another move to pursue Dwight Howard. Having already done deal with theTimberwolves, The Rockets have offered the Sacramento Kings following exchange: Kyle Lowry (who at the end of the season said the does not want to play for coach Kevin McHale anymore) + 14th and 16th picks in exchange for Tyreke Evans and the 5th pick.

However a source from Howard’s camp with knowledge of the situation said that there was “not a chance” he would be convinced to re-sign with Houston if traded.

It is also said that if the Rockets fail to trade for Howard, they will try to get Josh Smith of Atlanta Hawks or another All-Star caliber player.