Just three days ago it was reported that the Rockets would resign Budinger and bring him back next year. Welcome to the NBA.
In an effort to stock draft picks to make a run for Dwight Howard before the NBA Draft on Thursday night the Rockets dealt Chase Budinger and the draft rights to Lior Eliyahu to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th overall pick.
Budinger was a fan favorite and will be missed dearly by Rockets fans. His high flying dunks and long range shooting got cheers from the Houston crowd on a nightly basis. I expected him to get traded eventually because of the emergence of Chandler Parsons and the potential that Marcus Morris holds who play Budinger’s position. Budinger also seemed to fall out of favor with Head Coach Kevin McHale every few games, but so did a lot of other players last season. Budinger is who he is on the offensive end. He likes to run the floor in the fastbreak and leap for dunks, step out for three and slash to the basket. What he really needs to work on for his new team is his defense. He has the quickness to stay with most players, he just needs to be more consistent. He will get plenty of playing time in Minnesota. I could see him playing shooting guard or small forward depending how Head Coach Rick Adelman uses him and the rest of his lineup. Budinger played his best under Adelman in Houston and they hope he gets back to that next year in Minnesota. Wolves fans are in for a treat after adding another high flyer to their roster.
If you have watched ESPN in the last day or so it’s been no secret that the Rockets are after superstar Dwight Howard. The Rockets are attempting to get two top 10 picks in the draft to try and persuade the Orlando Magic to deal Howard early. They have talked to the Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings who are all in the top 10. It was reported they turned down a deal from the New Orleans Hornets for the 10th pick that would of sent the Hornets the 14th and 16th picks. Smart move not to make that deal. The Rockets want to have as many as 4 first-round picks to try and land the big man they so desperately want. In my opinion four top draft picks is to much. Especially if he leaves after one season which has been reported he would do if dealt to Houston. If he left the team would have to rebuild. Why not rebuild this year with four picks in the deepest draft since 2003? The Rockets are trying to hard for one player that seems to not even want to play for them. But the Rockets are set on landing Dwight and trying to convience him to stay.
It has also been reported that if Houston does land Howard they will immeadiately try to go after Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks who is one of Howard’s closest friends. They would also attempt to sign superstar point guard Deron Williams who will be a free agent and pair him with Howard.
A lot of things have to go right for the Rockets to get exactly what they want. Houston has desperately tried to land star players ever since Yao Ming had to retire and Tracy McGrady got dealt. The Rockets think hall of famer Hakeem Olajuwon could also persuade Howard to stay after one season. Hakeem is Dwight’s mentor and they have worked out in the offseason together. Only two more days until the NBA Draft, Rockets fans. Keep your eyes peeled.