Rockets Rumors: Breaking Down Latest Buzz Surrounding Houston

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 30, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 21:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 21, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's official: The Houston Rockets are going all-out for Dwight Howard.

After trading young power forward Thomas Robinson on Sunday to clear cap space, more rumors began to pop up around Houston, signifying the Rockets' desire to land the 27-year-old center.

These rumors included potentially dealing a young point guard and a defensive-minded big man.

Here's a look at the latest buzz surrounding the Rockets as they look to land Howard, complete with analysis.

 

Will Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin Be Traded?

If the Rockets land Howard, there likely won't be enough room for center Omer Asik. That's why it was no surprise when Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported on Sunday that the Rockets were looking at dealing Asik this summer, as well as point guard Jeremy Lin.

The Rockets, who will be the first team to meet with Howard when free agency tips off Monday, are incredibly confident that they will acquire Howard.

One league source said, via Berger, "They already have him, if you talk to them."

Word on the street is that Asik could end up with the Philadelphia 76ers. Former Rockets executive Sam Hinkie—who helped land Asik and Lin last summer—is now the general manager of the 76ers, and Philadelphia could use a veteran down low.

Asik averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks last season, registering a PER of 14.89. 

According to Berger, the Rockets may also trade Lin, although they would have to get a starting point guard in return. 

Berger tweeted on Sunday that the Rockets could trade Lin to the Detroit Pistons, acquiring veteran Jose Calderon in a sign-and-trade in the process:

While Lin averaged 13.4 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals last season, he's never been a particularly good on-the-ball defender. It's part of the reason he registered a modest PER of 14.94 last season despite those numbers.

On top of that, with the potential signing of Howard, the Rockets may prefer to unload Lin's hefty contract. They inked the 24-year-old to a four-year, $28.8 million contract last summer, with the fourth year being a team option.

As for Calderon, he averaged 11.3 points and 7.1 assists last season with the Pistons and Toronto Raptors. The 31-year-old has been in the league for eight years.

 

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