NBA Draft: Rockets trade Chase Budinger for 18th pick; making a play for Dwight Howard or Andre Drummond

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Pardon my French but s&#t is about to go down ...

The Houston Rockets have traded Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. It has been well-known that the Rockets, who already own picks No. 14 and No. 16, were attempting to trade up into the top five of the draft, perhaps with an eye on acquiring Dwight Howard.

Reports indicate that their backup plan might be to move up and simply select University of Connecticut big man Andre Drummond.

The trade was first reported by Draft Express:

There had been some recent speculation that Drummond could fall to the Detroit Pistons at No. 9, including in Draft Express's latest mock draft (posted before the trade). Now, however, it seems that whether the Rockets take him outright or the mega-trade for Dwight Howard goes through and the Magic will have a big hole at center and would want a young possible star to fill the void.

There is another Piston connection to this deal, of course, as Chase Budinger was originally drafted by the Pistons, who then sold his rights to Houston for cash.

In three seasons, the small forward has averaged 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and shot 43 percent from the field including 36 percent from three-point range.

UPDATE: Draft Express is hearing more trade talk:

Question: Would you have traded Jonas Jerebko for the 18th pick in the NBA Draft? Vote below.

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