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Houston Rockets 2012 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NBA Editor

The Houston Rockets seem to be acquiring assets in an effort to make a run at Orlando All-Star center Dwight Howard.

Houston already held the last pick in the lottery, No. 14 overall, for the third straight season as well as the 16th selection in the 2012 draft before acquiring the 18th pick on Tuesday by dealing Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

General Manager Daryl Morey has also reportedly put point guard Kyle Lowry, shooting guard Kevin Martin and center Samuel Dalembert on the trading block.

Both the Sacramento Kings, who own the No. 5 pick, and the Toronto Raptors, who have the eighth selection, have let Houston know that their top-10 picks are available and the Rockets could snare one by sending Lowry, who doesn't get along with head coach Kevin McHale, as well as one of their first round picks.

For what it's worth Lowry seems to think he is on the move Tweeting: "It's been real," on Sunday evening.

The Rockets , of course, are still looking to fill the hole in the middle after Yao Ming's retirement and the team could be eyeing UConn big man Andre Drummond as a consolation prize if they can't land Howard.

Players under contract: G: Kevin Martin; F: Luis Scola; G: Kyle Lowry; F: Marcus Morris; F: Chandler Parsons; F: Chase Budinger; C: Samuel Dalembert; F Patrick Patterson

Free agents: C: Marcus Camby; G: Goran Dragic; G: Courtney Lee

Recent Draft History 2011: Marcus Morris (14), Nikola Mirotic (23), Chandler Parsons (38) 2010: Patrick Patterson (14) 2009: None 2008: Nicolas Batum (25), Marty Leunen (54) 2007: Aaron Brooks (26), Brad Newley (54)

Draft picks: 1st round (14th overall, 16th overall, 18th overall)

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