MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks are getting a much-needed big man and the Houston Rockets are positioning themselves to make a big move.
The Bucks acquired veteran center Samuel Dalembert from the Rockets in a trade Wednesday. The Bucks said they got Dalembert, the 14th overall pick in Thursday's draft, a future second round pick and cash considerations from Houston in exchange for forwards Jon Brockman and Jon Leuer, guard Shaun Livingston and the 12th pick.
Dalembert has career averages of 8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Center is a major need for the Bucks, who traded away Andrew Bogut last season and never really found a way to replace him.
Dalembert didn't immediately return a call on Wednesday afternoon. He told KRIV-TV that he wasn't surprised by the news because he was aware the team was going to make some offseason moves.
"It's the business," Dalembert said. "I'm not shocked. I knew it was going to be a long summer for them. We have to make some sacrifices. We have to do some stuff."
The 31-year-old Dalembert will play his 11th NBA season with Milwaukee, his fourth team.
"They are a very good team and they're missing the big men out there," Dalembert said, "and I think I can fill up the spot and help them make the playoffs."
Houston, meanwhile, is apparently positioning itself for a blockbuster move after dealing Chase Budinger to Minnesota for the 18th pick on Tuesday. The Rockets now have the No. 12, 16 and 18 picks in Thursday's draft, but the team may make more moves as they put together a package to land a superstar big man — possibly Orlando's Dwight Howard or Atlanta's Josh Smith.
Howard, a six-time All-Star center, asked to be traded by the Magic during the season.
The Rockets went 34-32 last year, missing the playoffs for the third straight season. They've lacked a strong inside presence since former top overall pick Yao Ming started running into foot and injury issues and finally retired last summer.
Before last season, the Rockets were ready to trade forward Luis Scola, shooting guard Kevin Martin and point guard Goran Dragic for Pau Gasol, but NBA commissioner David Stern nixed the trade for "basketball reasons" on behalf of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets.
Houston picked up Dalembert in December. He started 45 games and averaged 7.5 points and seven rebounds per game in 2011-12.
First-year coach Kevin McHale said at a charity event on Monday that finding a dominant big man remains a high priority.
"From my standpoint," he said, "getting bigger, protecting the rim, playing above the rim, rebounding and blocking shots is always a good thing."
Howard was been named the league's top defensive player three times and averaged a career-high 14.5 rebounds per game last season. He also publicly expressed frustration with coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith during the season. Van Gundy was fired and Smith parted ways with the team in May.