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Rockets trade Budinger to Timberwolves for No. 18 pick

Jun 26, 2012, 10:14 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have added another pick to their stockpile as they try to parlay those picks into another move up the NBA draft board — and ultimately to make a run at getting Dwight Howard out of Orlando. The Minnesota Timberwolves have added a very athletic forward that can give them some good minutes off the bench.

The Houston Rockets have traded Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No, 18 pick in the draft, first reported by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and since confirmed by other sources.

This move is clearly a precursor to another move or three by the Houston Rockets. They now own the No. 14, No. 16 and No. 18 picks in the draft. They have reportedly been working to use picks and players to get both the No. 5 pick from the Sacramento Kings and the No. 8 pick from the Toronto Raptors.

Then they would try to parlay those to picks and a player like Kevin Martin to get Dwight Howard out of Orlando. Even though Howard’s camp is saying he would not sign an extension in Houston. And more importantly, even before the Magic seem ready to move Howard under the direction of new GM Rob Hennigan (who has not even sat down with Howard yet to make his pitch).

If Howard doesn’t pan out, the Rockets may make a run at the Hawks Josh Smith (who has requested a trade).

It’s a gamble by the Rockets, but it makes sense. They should roll the dice. They got Budinger for a second rounder and parlayed him into a first rounder, that’s not bad.

For the Timberwolves this move is nice, but not thrilling.

You probably remember Budinger from last year’s Slam Dunk competition, he’s very athletic. The former Arizona star has turned into a solid backup forward for the Rockets, giving them 9.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He had a PER of 14.9, right at the league average. He’s good, and after three years he has another one on his rookie deal. Basically Budinger and Wes Johnson become the rotation at the three for Minny. Maybe not thrilling, but they were not going to get anyone better at 18.

What Budinger does will is finish in transition and on a Wolves team with Ricky Rubio (once he returns from his ACL injury) Budinger could be a good fit. Also, do the Timberwolves really need another rookie? Budinger is not an old veteran but he’s been around the league three seasons already.

Houston has also sent to Minny the rights to Israeli Lior Eliyahu, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

  1. tigers182 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Wait, what? The Pistons got a 2nd founder in this draft for Budinger, now he’s being traded for a mid-1st founder? Sheesh.

    • a1mclean - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Good memory. I just wrote a column on that very fact this morning. Check it out:

  2. diabloryno - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Although I like Chase, he’s a good shooter which the Wolves need desperately, but Kahn couldn’t turn the 18th pick into more? Even if he packages some other players or cash with it?

  3. reptar24 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Minnesota Timerwolves: The safe haven for the white NBA players.

  4. cantonbound13 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    The surprise is he didn’t trade for another pg.

  5. miamatt - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Michael Beasly just texted ‘Bud’inger to grab some papers on his way in, if it’s not too much trouble… and some Funyons…

  6. bparmalee - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    The Rockets seem desperate this year after striking out last few years. No team tried harder to improve last off season but this is starting to feel forced.

  7. readysethike - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    they are all ready loaded with forwards…I don’t understand this trade from Minn.

    • slopmcflop - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      I think they’re going to try and have Budinger play SG. A bit of a stretch, but doable given the lack of scoring prowess at that position for the TWolves.

    • pglive21 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      They’re not loaded with forwards, they’re loaded with post players (power forwards and centers). They have no viable options going forward at the shooting guard or small forward spots (seriously Randolph and D. Williams are power forwards who have no business at the 3 spot, and Wes Johnson and Martell Webster are beyond awful). Budinger can step in immediately at the starting small forward spot. His off the ball cutting and movement will jive with Rubio’s game very nicely.

  8. willardj - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    One step closer to having the only all-white starting lineup in the NBA…

    • knightrider1755 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Don’t worry, they’ll never win anything.

    • monkeyhateclean - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Closer? They’ve already done it.

      Assuming they don’t make any more moves, Ridnour/Barea are going to platoon at SG.

  9. willardj - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    And apparently they’re also trying to move Beasley.

    Someone needs to check with Minnesota GM David Kahn to see if his dad isn’t involved with the KKK or anything.

    • 10tender - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      And to even throw out the KKK joke is weak.

    • scalfor3 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      Hah! yeah. trying to get rid of beasley? DAS RACCCCCCCCIIIIIIIISSSSSSTTTTTT!!!!!

  10. ch8878 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    First it was “a source” now its “Howard’s camp” what is it guys ?

    Is it “a source” or is it “Howard’s camp” ?

    I think its you guys making fake stories, please let this Howard crap go away.

    • slopmcflop - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      The Howard crap isn’t going to go away until he signs long term with a new team.

      Which could be as long as next year. We’re stuck with it for a while.

  11. rocketsbb - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I liked bud, but sometimes u gotta move on. Hope he goes far in his career.

  12. 00maltliquor - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Things just got real interesting in H-Town. Can’t wait to see how this plays out. Kinda sucks it had to come at Budinger’s expense, I feel like he was a very undervauled player and I like him a lot. Now he can start in Minny if they move him to the 2 spot. If nothing else happens and they don’t use those picks to send out in a trade or package to move up, it would be fun to see them pick every other pick from 14-18 and see what they come up with.

  13. Justin - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    The big thing here is that the Wolves acquired a guy with SF size but can handle the ball. We severely lacked that last year. It also fills the spot vacated by the departure of Beasley. Good move in my opinion but some of the Minnesota beat writers thinks we should have got more. Maybe Adelman knows something they don’t.

    • pglive21 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Minnesota got good value in Budinger for the 18th pick, but if you think he’s going to help their ball handling then you clearly have not seen Budinger play. He’s an off the ball cutter and mover and occasional catch and shoot guy, but he is most certainly not a viable ball handler. He can step in immediately at the 3 (where the T-Wolves have a big hole) but he’s ill suited for the starting shooting guard spot (where the T-Wolves also have a big hole).

      • Justin - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Oh yeah I am not saying he has value at the 2. I mean his handling skills for a 3 aren’t bad. Last year Wes Johnson was a max 2 dribble per possession guy and Chase will upgrade that. Yeah he will not blow us away with his steve nash type ball handling.

      • pglive21 - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        Pretty sure Budinger is also a max 2 dribble per possession guy as well. If you’re expecting more out of him in that regard, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

  14. zblott - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    This trade makes perfect sense for Minnesota….assuming they don’t already have two young SF’s taken in the top-5 of the past two drafts, neither of whom can get minutes sliding over to PF because there’s a franchise stud playing 40 mpg there. Oh, wait, what’s that?

  15. flyrocket31 - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Make it happen Morey! Trade picks, martin, lowry in deals to get Howard. Sign Nash and Roy. Sig and Trade Dragic, Dalembert and Scola for Josh Smith!!!!!!

  16. rocketsbb - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    That’s would never happen and that’s stupid. Trade your entire starting lineup for a diva and j-smoove?

  17. scalfor3 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    rubio throwing lobs to budinger should be fun to watch

  18. vstyle23 - Jun 27, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    Orlando is going to bring in Josh Smith and sign Derron. Williams and they will be the next big Three, watch

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