The first major trade before the 2012 NBA Draft has occurred involving the Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Rockets traded Chase Budinger to Minnesota in exchange for the 18th pick in the first round as first reporter by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Rockets now have the 14th, 16th and 18th picks in the first round and it is clear that they are trying to pull off a package that could land them Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.
The Timberwolves are past stockpiling first round draft choices as just about every player on their roster feels like they were selected in the lottery within the past five seasons. Budinger is a nice piece for them to build around Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
Shortly after this trade was completed, Houston offered the Sacramento Kings Kyle Lowry, the 14th pick and the 16th pick for Tyreke Evans and the 5th pick in the draft.
The plan here is for Houston to have a package consisting of Evans, Kevin Martin, the 5th pick and the 18th pick to send to Orlando for Howard.
Houston is doing everything possible to get Howard even though it has been reported that Howard is not interested in resigning with Houston after the 2012-13 season.
The Rockets and their savvy GM Daryl Morey are confident in themselves and what they have in Houston that they will be able to convince Howard to stay after a season with the team.