NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard The Ultimate Target Of Houston Rockets Draft Deals

NBA trade rumors are going to get hot and heavy leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft, but the biggest deal out there still involves Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. The two worlds are going to collide by Thursday night, though, if Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has anything to say about it.

News broke over the weekend that the Rockets are trying to deal picks 14 and 16 to get into the top 10 -- the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors seem to be their willing trade partners -- but that would only be the first part of a complex trade, apparently. That's because, according to ESPN's duo of Marc Stein and Chad Ford, the Rockets would then look to trade those picks to the Orlando Magic for a Dwight Howard rental.

Upon hearing of Sunday night's developments, one rival general manager told ESPN.com that he believes Houston's real aim is acquiring two top-10 picks this week to turn around quickly and offer both to the Orlando Magic as part of a considerable trade offer for Dwight Howard.

The Rockets' willingness to trade for Howard -- even without the All-Star center's signature on a contract extension -- is an open secret around the league. But it's believed that two top-eight picks, assuming Houston managed to complete trades with both Sacramento and Toronto, would seriously pique the interest of new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, who could then quickly start following the same sort of roster-building blueprint relied on by his previous employers in Oklahoma City.

If newly-hired Magic GM Rob Hennigan is able to pull off this deal -- a very good one if he's looking to start from scratch -- he'll have made the Magic an almost 100 percent different team, considering he's already cleaned out the entire former front office regime and is looking for a new head coach as well.

For more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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