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Chase Budinger Traded To Minnesota Timberwolves For No. 18 Pick

The Houston Rockets have big plans to potentially acquire Dwight Howard, and they may have taken their first step to putting those plans into action. The Rockets have dealt reserve swingman Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the No. 18 overall pick, according to Draft Express' Jonathan Givony. The Wolves also receive the rights to Israeli player Lior Eliyahu, who will reportedly join Minnesota for summer league play.

The Rockets may very well use the 18th pick, along with their current selections at No. 14 and No. 16, to put together in a trade package for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard. Houston probably will need one more selection to entice the Magic, but they could accomplish that goal by trading point guard Kyle Lowry, as has been rumored.

Even if the Rockets pull that off and put together a good trade package, they will have to overcome Howard's own misgivings with the franchise.'s David Aldridge reports that Howard has no interest in signing with the Rockets long-term right now.

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, secure a player that had success in coach Rick Adelman's system when Adelman coached there. Budinger is a strong three-point shooter that has struggled to carve out a consistent role because of his poor defense.

For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston. For more on the Timberwolves, visit Canis Hoopus and SB Nation Minnesota.