The Rockets have slowly improved their first-round assets as tonight's draft approaches, but with three picks at Nos. 12, 16, and 18, the team is still trying to move higher. TNT's David Aldridge reports that Houston offered Kyle Lowry and the 16th overall pick to Sacramento in exchange for the No. 5 pick and Chuck Hayes, but that the Kings turned down the proposal.
While it appears the Rockets' ultimate goal is still to land Dwight Howard, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld says the Magic don't appear ready to move Howard today, or even this week. Even if Houston were to land Howard, Aldridge is hearing that there's "not a chance" the star center would sign a long-term deal with the Rockets.
If the Rockets' pursuit of Howard falls through, the team figures to turn its attention to a handful of other trade targets. According to Kyler, Houston is engaged in discussions with the Lakers, Sixers, and Grizzlies, presumably for players like Pau Gasol, Andre Iguodala, and Rudy Gay.