A blockbuster trade could be in the works. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express reports that the Houston Rockets have offered Kyle Lowry and their two first-round picks to the Sacramento Kings for Tyreke Evans and their fifth-overall selection.
Sources say Houston has an offer of Lowry, the #14 and #16 picks for Tyreke Evans and the #5 pick on the table. Up to Sacramento to decide.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 26, 2012
Lowry has established himself as one of the NBA's most promising young point guards over the past two seasons in Houston. He averaged 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds last season after a breakout campaign in 2011-12, but he has fallen out of favor with the organization due to issues with head coach Kevin McHale and the emergence of fellow floor general Goran Dragic.
The Rockets are rumored to have interest in Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (via ESPN.com) and have been attempting to accumulate high draft picks to make the move. Earlier on Tuesday morning, they acquired the No. 18 pick in the draft for Chase Budinger in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves (per ESPN.com).
Trading Lowry for a chance to get inside the top five is a risk worth taking for the Rockets if they are intent on landing Howard, even though the defensive juggernaut hasn't made any type of commitment to Houston beyond next season if a deal were to get done.
The fact that Evans would be part of the trade has to make it much more attractive to the Rockets. The swingman has never been able to replicate the success of his rookie season, but he still averaged 16.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 45 percent shooting last season.
On the flip side, the Kings could certainly use an upgrade at point guard. Rookie Isaiah Thomas performed admirably after taking over the starting job last season but might not be a long-term solution considering his lack of size.
Lowry represents an immediate upgrade, while the deal would also give Sacramento two picks in the middle of Round 1. This year's draft class doesn't offer many elite prospects outside of Anthony Davis, so moving down to stockpile picks would be a wise move.
Replacing a player like Evans is a lot easier than finding a top-tier guard in today's game. Lowry's arrival would instantly make Sacramento's offense more efficient, and the Kings could then select one of the many swingmen available in the draft to fill their void at the wing.
Their other pick could be used to select a post player to provide some support for DeMarcus Cousins, who was essentially a one-man band in the paint last season.
It is important to note the reported offer has been refuted by Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, who states that there isn't a deal on the table between the two sides as of right now. As is always the case around draft day, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction until the dust settles.
Although I would give the slight edge to the Rockets if this deal were actually put in motion, it's easy to see why both teams would be interested.