The Houston Rockets have reportedly traded Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 18 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The deal brings in a veteran perimeter player that coach Rick Adelman knows well from his days as a coach with the Rockets.
This move could be a part of the team’s game plan to acquire center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.
Budinger (6-7, 218, Arizona) was originally selected by the Detroit Pistons (44th overall) and later acquired by the Rockets in a draft night trade in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations. Budinger averaged 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists over 210 career games with the Rockets.
Eliyahu (6-9, 225, Israel) was originally selected by Orlando in the second round (44th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, which was a pick acquired by the Magic from the Milwaukee Bucks. Houston subsequently acquired his draft rights from Orlando for cash considerations on June 28, 2006. Eliyahu, who averaged 4.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in four games with the Rockets in the 2007 NBA Summer League, has played with Maccabi Tel Aviv since 2010-11.