The Houston Rockets have already pulled off two trades this week, acquiring the No. 18 pick in Thursday's NBA draft for forward Chase Budinger and then the No. 12 pick for center Samuel Dalembert and the No. 14 pick. The Rockets now are armed with picks 12, 16 and 18 as they try to move into the upper portions of the lottery.
Sources told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that among the the avenues the Rockets are exploring is a deal with the Sacramento Kings that would net the Rockets guard Tyreke Evans and the No. 5 overall pick. One source told Berger that a deal is "getting close," but other executives believe that the Kings are resisting Houston's overtures.
Indeed, David Aldridge of TNT is reporting that Sacramento rejected one proposal, that would have sent point guard Kyle Lowry and the No. 16 pick from the Rockets to the Kings for the No. 5 pick and forward Chuck Hayes. Aldridge goes on to write, however, that "many around the league believe [the No. 5 pick] is in play and will be dealt by the Kings before Thursday's draft." Who are the Rockets targeting at No. 5? Berger writes that "word in front office circles" is that Houston wants UConn center Andre Drummond, although some believe this information is a smokescreen and that general manager Daryl Morey really wants Weber State point guard Damian Lillard, who is believed to be coveted by the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 6.