NBA Trade Rumors: Rockets No Longer Pursuing Pau Gasol, Looking To Move Up In Draft

The Houston Rockets recently moved up in the 2012 NBA Draft, sending the No. 14 pick and Samuel Dalembert to the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 12 pick, Jon Leuer, Jon Brockman and Shaun Livingston. Most believe the Rockets are trying to stockpile picks to put together in a trade package for Dwight Howard, while Lakers' star Pau Gasol was floated as a backup choice. However, recent reports suggests Gasol is not an option for them after all.

Via CBS Sports' Ken Berger:

While rival executives believed Houston's target was Lakers forward Pau Gasol, a person familiar with the team's strategy debunked that idea and said the Rockets front office has cooled significantly on the Spanish 7-footer. Gasol made sense when Houston was pursuing him in the past year and was trying to set up a three-year window with Kyle Lowry, Gasol and another big-man target, Nene. But the person briefed on the Rockets' current plan doubted Gasol would make sense for the franchise anymore.

Berger suggests the Rockets' goal is to move into the top 10 of the draft, either to select a star player or deal the pick in a package for Howard.

For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.

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