By shipping out high-flying shooting guard Chase Budginger to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 18 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, active-GM Darryl Morey is stockpiling his arsenal with now-three first-round draft picks: No. 14, No. 16 and No. 18. The certain target for these assets is Orlando center Dwight Howard, along with young frontcourt pieces to send to the Magic like 2011 first-round picks Marcus Morris and Donatas Motiejunas as well. Although Sacramento was also rumored to be in the mix for two of the picks plus point guard Kyle Lowry (who has publically expressed his frustration and desire to be traded) in exchange for Tyreke Evans and the No. 5 pick, the Kings have shot down that offer.
Previously, Dwight Howard's insistence of trade was destined only to Brooklyn or Dallas, but that does not seem to be dissuading Morey to make a deal for the All-Star center. Houston believes they can convince him to re-sign before he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2013.
If Orlando doesn't budge on their stance with Howard, Atlanta's Josh Smith is thought to be another target for the Rockets'.