Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/27/12

The Houston Rockets made another move designed to ultimately acquire a franchise building block, sending small forward Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th overall pick in Thursday's draft.

The Rockets are loading up on assets with a goal of acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

General manager Daryl Morey made a run at Howard last season, following a failed bid to land Chris Bosh as a free agent in 2010, and on two separate occasions attempted to acquire Pau Gasol from the Lakers.

But Howard has only one year remaining on his contract and reportedly will not sign an extension if dealt to Houston.

That might not be enough to give Morey pause. He's attempting to deal for top-10 draft choices, the kind of assets that new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan would find most attractive, and has a few pieces should draw bidders. Even without lottery selections, the Rockets currently own three first-round picks -- 14th, 16th and 18th overall --

The most notable are guards Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and center Samuel Dalembert, whose contract is only partially guaranteed.

Lowry disagreed with coach Kevin McHale and Goran Dragic played his way into a starting role last season.

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