Houston Rockets: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agent News, Draft Buzz

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IIMay 31, 2012

Houston Rockets: Latest Trade Rumors, Free-Agent News, Draft Buzz

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    The Houston Rockets missed the playoffs by just two games, and have since been forced to watch the action from home and ponder how they'll make sure they don't miss out next year. Rockets management has now had more than a month to shake off the dust from the 2011-12 season, but things seem even less clear.

    With free-agent possibilities, a key player thinking about leaving Houston and the results from the draft lottery, the Rockets have much to sort out now. Following is a run-through of some of the hottest Rockets draft news, trade rumors and general buzz.

Rockets Offer Carlos Delfino Two-Year Deal

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    On the heels of a magnificent performance against the United States in an exhibition game, Argentinian forward Carlos Delfino has begun to generate some buzz. Rightfully so, as Delfino has made a living behind the arc and always seems to make the smart play when it's needed.

    As for who is interested, Olé reports that the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns have emerged as potential suitors. Houston, however, is the only team who has made an offer thus far (via RotoWorld.com).

    Unfortunately for the Rockets, Delfino does not appear interested in a rebuilding process. More on this story as details emerge.

    Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

Omer Asik Will Be a Rocket

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    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Earlier this week, Bleacher Report relayed news that the Chicago Bulls would not re-sign center Omer Asik. Just days later, the Turkish big man has officially become a member of the Houston Rockets.

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tells NBA.com exactly what type of presence he expects Asik to offer.

    “We are excited to add Omer to our roster,” said [Rockets GM Daryl] Morey. “Omer has proven to be a defensive force at every stop in his career – in the Turkish league, in FIBA’s World Championships and EuroBasket competitions, and of course for the past two years for the Chicago Bulls. We are excited to add his rim protection, his rebounding, and the defensive mentality Omer brings to each play.”

    The Asik in Chicago era has officially come to a close. The Asik and Linsanity era, however, has just begun.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

    Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes

    As anticipated by the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls have announced that they will not match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet for center Omer Asik.

    Bull.com featured the official announcement, acknowledging that the Bulls would have liked to retain Asik's defensive capabilities, but not at the exorbitant three-year, $25 million deal.

    There aren't a lot of attractive bigs out there anymore. The Bulls will have to scramble with their cash to find a replacement who can anchor the defense and potentially spot major minutes for an injury-prone Joakim Noah.

    For the Rockets, they land their second major target of the offseason. While they certainly would have rather had Dwight Howard, Asik will be penciled in as the immediate starter. They've overpaid to get Asik and Jeremy Lin, two players with huge upside and question marks.

    Their young roster has a lot of moving parts, but they've done a decent job of blowing things up, rebuilding on the fly and staying in dogged pursuit of Howard.

    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    The Bulls "appear ready to pass" on the offer sheet for Omer Asik, meaning that the big man will likely be wearing a Rockets uniform for the 2012-13 campaign.


    More midnight madness coming for Rockets. Deadline for Bulls to match Asik offer sheet is 11:59 Eastern on Tue. Bulls appear ready to pass.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 22, 2012


    -Content for this update provided by B/R's Chicago Bulls Offseason Tracker.

    -End of update-

    Update: Sunday, July 22 -- Maxwell Ogden

    On July 20, Bleacher Report covered the story of Omer Asik signing the Houston Rockets' offer sheet. Today, we've discovered that the offer sheet has been received by the Chicago Bulls.

    For those in favor of Omer Asik returning to the Chicago Bulls, don't hold your breath. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the news and what it means. 


    Per Johnson's report, the Chicago Bulls don't seem to be in favor of re-signing Asik. While he's clearly a valuable asset, "overpriced" doesn't even begin to do this deal justice.

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Houston Rockets have expressed serious interest in restricted free agent center Omer Asik. They've offered him a hefty contract and all but promised him a serious role in their future plans as a result of this decision.

    As of July 20, they've officially guaranteed themselves a role in his destination. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the news.

    After meeting with Rockets officials in Las Vegas, including dinner with coach Kevin McHale, Omer Asik returned to Chicago and signed his three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet Friday.

    The Chicago Bulls will have until 10:59 p.m. on the third day after they received the offer sheet to match or decline the contract. More details will be reported as they emerge.

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Per a report via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have waived two players from their roster. The unlucky duo are Jon Leur and Jerome Jordan.

    Once the players clear waivers, Feigen reports that the Rockets will officially sign their top remaining target to an offer sheet. Much to the Bulls dismay.

    The Bulls will then have three days to match the offer. More on this story as news comes forth.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

Rockets STILL Pushing for Dwight Howard

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    Update: Monday, July 23 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Orlando Magic have been involved in a back-and-forth battle with the decision to keep or trade Dwight Howard for roughly a year. While it seems as if all signs have pointed to a potential trade, it appears as if the franchise will hold onto their embattled superstar.

    Chris Broussard of ESPN.com has the report.

    An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."

    Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.

    This decision has been building up to for quite some time, with the Magic refusing deals from a handful of potential suitors. The question at this point, of course, is whether the team will indeed trade Howard come February or hold onto him and try their luck in free agency.

    More on this story as details are released.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

    Update: Saturday, July 21 -- Maxwell Ogden

    B/R's earlier report answered why Dwight Howard hadn't been traded. This upcoming news will answer when the plug could be pulled on the D-12 trade talks.

    Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the report.

    The Magic, I'm told, are hopeful that they can pull the trigger on a deal by early August (although I certainly couldn't tell you which one it might be). That being said, new GM Rob Hennigan...is proving to be very prudent in this process, meaning those hopes won't be realized if the deal simply isn't up to his standard's.

    This is a fair approach by Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. The team simply cannot pull the trigger when there remains an outside chance of Howard returning to Orlando, regardless of what he may have said before.

    Either way, the D-12 trade talks could conclude by early August. Expect a frantic few weeks heading up to that time.

    -- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard Tracker

    Update: Friday, July 13 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey continues to play every card in his hand. When that hasn't been enough to get Dwight Howard, he's just gone out and gotten more cards.

    ESPN.com is reporting that the Rockets have once again approached the Orlando Magic with a trade offer. Having traded away Kyle Lowry, amnestied Luis Scola and (hopefully) watched Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin's offers matched by the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, respectively, the Rockets now have a ton of rookies and cap space.

    While that might seem like the perfect stage for a full-rebuild, Morey is offering all of those facets in exchange for Howard. This proposed trade would send most of the Rockets' rookies and cap space to Orlando for Dwight and at least two or three of the bad contracts from Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon.

    Even though Howard could still leave in 2013, the Rockets are at the point of no return either way. They've begun a full restructuring project, and they'd rather have Dwight aboard than to start from scratch.

    However, does Dwight want a team built around him again or to play for an already-established roster?

Courtney Lee Traded to Boston

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    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    It took a long time but they've finally arrived. The final details of the Courtney Lee sign-and-trade have been released and clarity has been granted.

    Here is Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald with the news.

    Deal official. Lee to C's. Moore, Johnson, Williams and CHA 2nd rd pick to HOU. Pavlovic (& BOS cash to pay him) and 2 2nd-rounders to POR.

    — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 20, 2012

    The Boston Celtics don't give up much at all for Lee, as E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson are both talented young players who had no place in the rotation. The same can be said about Sean Williams.

    The Rockets are expected to cut at least one of the players they've acquired in this trade according to ESPN's Chris Forsberg:

    Source confirmed today that cap-conscious Rockets still expected to waive E'Twaun Moore. Teams with space wise to hop on him on waivers.

    — Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) July 20, 2012

    JaJuan Johnson could also be released or traded depending on the Rockets cap and depth situation going forward.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden 

    The Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics have put together one of the most confusing sign-and-trades in the history of the NBA. Thankfully, the drama has ended and the deal is official.

    HoopsRumors.com's official Twitter page has the news.

    Rockets announce Courtney Lee S&T. In addition to the previously-reported players, Houston receives the rights to Jon Diebler from Portland.

    — Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) July 20, 2012

    The announcement of this deal puts an end to a roller coaster ride. It also finalizes what some felt remained on the fence.

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    No deal should be this complicated.

    The details surrounding the Boston Celtics sign-and-trade for Courtney Lee have finally emerged. The deal will be fully guaranteed and put Lee in position for an average of over $5 million a year.

    Guard Courtney Lee lands a four-year, $21.5 million fully guaranteed deal from the Celtics in sign and trade deal, source tells Y! Sports.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 20, 2012

    Boston Celtics fans can finally breathe easy as the deal has been clarified. They can also look on in anticipation as one of the most well-rounded wingmen in the game lands a spot on their roster.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agency Tracker

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    New details from the Boston Celtics' sign-and-trade for Courtney Lee continue to emerge, as the complicated deal has found validity.

    Many have pondered how the deal could possibly work from a financial standpoint. John Hollinger of ESPN.com has the latest details on how it will be done.

    Hearing C Lee deal is more like 4.6M to start. Celtics paying Pavlovic's salary for Blazers and threw Portland a 2nd.

    — John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) July 20, 2012

    This is a good deal for the Portland Trail Blazers as they land a decent rotational option and a second round draft choice. The Celtics, meanwhile, finally have an explanation as to how they have acquired their prized target.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agency Tracker

    Update: Friday, July 20 — Ethan Norof

    The sign-and-trade scenario for Lee to head to Boston has avoided any potential snags as Portland has stepped into the picture. The Trail Blazers will acquire Sasha Pavlovic from Boston in addition to the previously reported elements of the deal.

    Deal for C. Lee brought back from dead. Portland steps in as 3rd team. Celts also sign and move Sasha Pavlovic (w/Moore, Johnson, Williams)

    — Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 20, 2012

    -Content for this updated provided by B/R's Boston Celtics Offseason Tracker.

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Upon hearing of the Boston Celtics' swap of JaJuan Johnson for Courtney Lee, the Twittersphere erupted in an outcry. The reason? Financially speaking, that deal would have been impossible to make.

    Per a report via the NBA on ESPN's official Twitter page, the finite details have been revealed.

    Courtney Lee to C's for likely package of JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a 2 pick. @ESPNForsberg.es.pn/OxcY2C

    — The NBA on ESPN (@NBAonESPN) July 19, 2012

    This leaves the Boston Celtics without one of their top Summer League performers, E'Twaun Moore. All in all, it remains a deal worth making as Lee is a proven player with an NBA Finals appearance under his belt.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Boston Celtics have had quite an offseason. They've bolstered their perimeter with some solid acquisitions and rid themselves of some aging legs. Their latest move simply offers more of the same.

    Marc. J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Celtics have landed one of the hidden gems in this year's period of free agency.

    Celtics to acquire G Courtney Lee from Rockets in a sign and trade sending back F JaJuan Johnson, sources tell Y! Details being finalized.

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 19, 2012

    Courtney Lee adds to a stacked perimeter that includes Avery Bradley, Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Jeff Green. While playing time could be difficult to come across, Courtney Lee's sharpshooting and defensive prowess could help the Celtics in a major way come the postseason.

    -- Report via B/R's Boston Celtics Tracker

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Joel C. Cordes

    As the Minnesota Timberwolves prepare for life without Nicolas Batum, they now turn to their fallback options.

    The Minneapolis Star-Tribune lists Courtney Lee, Jordan Hill and Greg Stiesma as their likely targets: something that's been known for awhile. However, it does mention Coach Rick Adelman's specific interest in Lee, as well as Lee's reciprocated feelings for the Wolves.

    Lee could be the starter or a sixth-man candidate, but he can be the defensive specialist at either the two or three. Minnesota needs as much wing depth as they can behind Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger now that Martell Webster is gone and Wesley Johnson is still himself.

    Update: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Courtney Lee has been on the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics' radars, but with O.J. Mayo off the free agent board to the Dallas Mavericks, other suitors are beginning to line up.

    The St. Paul Pioneer reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves want Lee if their offer to Nic Batum is (likely) matched by the Portland Trail Blazers.

    So too, the Phoenix Suns are eyeing Lee after their offer to Eric Gordon was matched by the New Orleans Hornets.

    Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers could have interest in a sign and trade, although one wonders what attractive assets they still have left to offer in such a deal.

    Update: Friday, July 13 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Though there are plenty of conflicting reports as to whether Nic Batum will be available for the Minnesota Timberwolves, it appears they're already working on Plan B:

    Sources say the Timberwolves will go after Courtney Lee since Portland doesnt want to "play ball" in a potential Batum sign-and-trade.

    — Yannis Koutroupis (@YannisHW) July 12, 2012

    While Courtney Lee certainly doesn't provide the explosiveness Minnesota covets with Batum, the team absolutely does need a lead defender. Lee's ability to run and stretch the floor would also be a reasonable fit if Ricky Rubio is setting him up for easy baskets.

    The Wolves still clearly hope they can get Batum, but Lee wouldn't be a bad consolation find.

    Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Courtney Lee is the latest wingman on the Boston Celtics' radar. As Blakely reports, however, Lee is well-aware of the Celtics' financial predicament and offers insight as to how a deal could potentially get done.

    "Houston and (Rockets general manager) Daryl Morrey . . . he loves draft picks," [Courtney] Lee said. "That's one thing you can do, sign-and-trade. With Houston loving draft picks and Boston not having money to pay a player, that may be an option for both teams."

    However, the Celtics are just "one of eight teams" in the hunt, according to Lee in Blakely's report.

    Will the Celtics trade a draft choice for a player who plays the same position as both Avery Bradley and Jason Terry, while also signaling that Mickael Pietrus would not return? Lee could spot time at the 3, yet Paul Pierce and Jeff Green may take issue with that idea.

    Keep a close eye on Lee to the Celtics. However, because the Boston Celtics have nothing but minimum-level contracts to offer, a sign-and-trade is necessary on their front.

    While they figure that out, the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and others are all still in the market for a shooting guard. And all of them have more money to offer right now.

Rockets Cut Jerome Jordan and Jon Leuer

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    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Joel C. Cordes

    In an unsurprising move, the Houston Rockets have cut two pieces from their Marcus Camby trade with the New York Knicks and the Sam Dalembert deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, respectively.

    Jerome Jordan and Jon Leuer might have had forward roles near the end of the bench, but it was unlikely for them to get major minutes either way. As Houston tries to clear cap space for their offer to Omer Asik, they're willing to put Jordan and Leuer back on the market:

    The Rockets have waived Jon Leuer and Jerome Jordan. When they clear waivers, Rockets will sign Omer Asik to offer sheet.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 18, 2012

Jeremy Lin Officially a Houston Rocket

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    BREAKING NEWS: Wednesday, July 18 -- Maxwell Ogden

    As the clock strikes midnight, it has become official that the New York Knicks will not match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. As a result, the point guard sensation has completed the most shocking move of the 2012 period of free agency as he joins the Houston Rockets.

    Ian Begley of ESPN New York has the story.

    #Knicks confirm they are not matching Houston's offer to Jeremy Lin. Lin will be a Rocket.

    — Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 18, 2012

    The Houston Rockets fill a major void at the point by signing Lin. Although costly, this could be a deal that pays dividends in the end.

    BREAKING NEWS: Tuesday, July 17 -- Joel C. Cordes

    It comes as only a slight surprise, after plenty of reports claiming that this would happen, but it appears as if the New York Knicks really are walking away from Jeremy Lin.

    According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Rockets are being allowed to heist Lin away:

    Posting momentarily to nytimes.com: Lin will be a Rocket. Knicks deliberations over.

    — Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) July 17, 2012

    Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd will now be the point guards for the Knicks, while Lin becomes the first major free agent the Rockets have landed all offseason.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Free Agent tracker.

    Update: Sunday, July 15 -- Justin Welton

    So much for Linsanity in New York. 

    According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, New York won't match Houston's offer to Jeremy Lin after trading for Raymond Felton.

    Lin joins a Rockets team still eyeing a possible Dwight Howard trade down the road. Potentially building around Lin and Howard would be a wise move for Houston.

    We'll see if they go that route in the near future. 

    But for now, let the Linsanity era begin in Houston. 

    Update: Saturday, July 14 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Much to the surprise of the NBA community, it appears as if Jeremy Lin may be Houston-bound after all. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports has the story.

    Jeremy Lin appears close to being a Houston Rocket with Raymond Felton to NY deal close to being done, sources tell Y!

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 15, 2012

    While anything is possible, it's very unlikely that the Knicks opt to bring Lin back at this point. The financial constraints may be too much for the Knicks to handle and the final year of Lin's contract could push New York too far beyond the Luxury Tax for James Dolan to accept.

    Confirmed that Ray Felton is heading to the Knicks with Kurt Thomas in a sign and trade.

    — Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 15, 2012

    Let the wait begin.

    Update: Friday, July 13 -- Maxwell Ogden

    If you can't get enough of the offseason drama, be grateful for Jeremy Lin. A day after Lin claimed he was indeed happy with the New York Knicks, the global superstar made it clear that business will always remain business.

    Jeremy Lin has officially signed his offer sheet with the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to match it.

    — Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 13, 2012

    This puts both the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks in a precarious position. Should either miss out on Lin, the quality of their point guard play would be shaky at best. So who will win the race for Lin?

    Update: Thursday, July 12 -- Joel C. Cordes

    The New York Knicks have made it clear for awhile now that they plan on matching Jeremy Lin's offer from the Houston Rockets. While they have yet to officially do so, here's further proof of their intentions via head coach Mike Woodson:

    Woodson said Lin would be the Knicks starting point guard next season.

    — Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 11, 2012

    Update: Saturday, July 7 — Joel C. Cordes

    Though Jeremy Lin has agreed to his four-year deal from the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks will break the bank to retain their cash cow.

    His body of work is incredibly small, but Lin was the story of the 2012 Knicks' season and one of their only players with positive press down the stretch. 

    Lin's clutch ability and facilitating skills were on clear display prior to his injury. Yet, the Knicks are shelling out a lot of money for a kid who's coming back from a knee problem, has only started 25 games for them and who had a huge turnover issue already. 

    Still, the Knicks will pay the cash to chance rebooting Linsanity in 2013. They did take out a reasonable insurance policy by also bringing veteran Jason Kidd aboard.

    Once more, the Rockets are left holding the bag after taking a big gamble. Having lost Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry, Houston must figure out what their point guard Plan D is now that Jeremy Lin isn't their's either.

    Update: Thursday, July 5 at 8:22 PM EDT — Maxwell Ogden

    The Houston Rockets have made a ground-shaking decision to trade Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors. This move is expected to make room for Lin to join their franchise and lead the team into battle. As a result, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that the global star has signed an offer sheet with those very Houston Rockets.

    Source confirms Rockets have committed a 4 yr, $30M sheet to NYK guard Jeremy Lin. NY will have 3 days to match when moratorium ends next wk

    — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 5, 2012

    Unfortunately for the Rockets, it's not believed that they'll walk away with Lin's services. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports breaks it down in sarcastic terms that we all can understand. He also crushes the hearts of every Rockets fan who had hoped to see Lin in their uniform.

    To be clear: The Rockets spent all day negotiating Jeremy Lin's new deal with the Knicks. How nice of them.

    — Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 5, 2012

    What Helin was getting at is that the New York Knicks will match any offer. They clearly feel that Lin is their franchise point guard and are ready to support him in whatever financial way they must. Marc Stein of ESPN.com confirmed that.

    Source with knowledge of Knicks' thinking: "They will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars"

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012

    Jeremy Lin appears to be heading back to New York.

    Update: Thursday, July 5 at 5:53 PM EDT — Maxwell Ogden

    Just when we thought Jeremy Lin was a humble kid who was thrilled to simply be apart of the NBA, we found out how much of a business this league really is. According to Alan Hahn of MSG's Network, Lin's looking for the big bucks.

    RT @Ian_OConnor: Jeremy Lin wants more $ than reported $31M offer from Houston, according to league source. #Knicks facing a hefty match

    — Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) July 5, 2012

    The question, at this point, is simple: does Jeremy Lin deserve this much money? Considering how much Lin made the Knicks in merchandise sales, one could argue yes. Unfortunately, Linsanity has died and the 23-year-old is now going to be judged based off of his play in an 82 game season.

    Should he fail to lead the Knicks to a postseason run, he'd likely be labeled a bust. The same can be said for any other team he potentially signs with.

    So what do they do? Will the New York Knicks match the offer and pay Lin that type of money under their Early Bird Rights? Or will they let him walk? After paying Jason Kidd a solid amount to come in at 39, the team may opt with a lesser name with equal upside.

    UPDATE: Thursday, July 5 at 5:53 p.m. ET by Austin Green

    Restricted free agent Jeremy Lin has agreed to a deal with the Houston Rockets, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

    The Rockets have agreed to terms with Jeremy Lin, source said.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 5, 2012

    According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the offer sheet is for four-years, $30 million.

    Source confirms Rockets have committed a 4 yr, $30M sheet to NYK guard Jeremy Lin. NY will have 3 days to match when moratorium ends next wk

    — David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 5, 2012

    This is a major (yet unsurprising) development, as perhaps the most popular player in the league could be switching teams. Whenever Lin signs the contract, New York will have three days to match the offer, which they intend to do, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

    Source with knowledge of Knicks' thinking: "They will match any offer on Lin up to 1 billion dollars"

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012

    Although he was brilliant in spurts, Lin only started 25 games last season, averaging 15.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. Still, the Knicks are desperate to keep him, not just for his production, but his status as a marketing goldmine.

    "Linsanity" was a legitimate global phenomenon last season, and the Knicks clearly realize how valuable he is to their organization. He is a fan-favorite, an icon for Asian-Americans and he's a good young point guard as well.

    Losing him would be devastating to both their roster and their public perception, so it's not surprising that they will match this offer.

    We will have more updates for you whenever they come in, but for now, it looks like the Rockets' efforts will not be good enough.

    -------------------END OF UPDATE--------------------

    It appears that Jeremy Lin is one step closer to giving the New York Knicks a somewhat difficult decision.

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Lin is still working on a deal with the Houston Rockets:

    Jeremy Lin and Rockets still discussing offer sheet, source says. They're working on the "structure" of deal. Knicks have right to match.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2012

    While New York would be able to match, it wouldn't be cheap. The Rockets are apparently putting together an offer that would given Lin a large sum of money in the final two years of a four-year deal.

    So, while it would start off at around $5 million in each of the first two years, that figure could roughly double in years three and four of the deal. While New York can technically match–and may indeed opt to do so–it would be costly for a club that already has tons of salary on its books.

    According to Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday, Jeremy Lin has made his intentions known. The New York Knicks now have three days to save themselves from losing their franchise point guard. 

    Jeremy Lin has officially signed his offer sheet with the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to match it.

    — Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 13, 2012

    This comes in an offseason in which the Houston Rockets have lost both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. Should they miss out on Lin, the Rockets' 2012 season could be considered lost.

Marcus Camby Traded to Knicks

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    Update: Tuesday, July 10 -- Maxwell Ogden & Joel C. Cordes

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have agreed to a trade:

    Houston and New York agreed on a sign-and-trade deal sending (Tony) Douglas, (Josh) Harrelson, (Jerome) Jordan to Rockets for picks, sources said.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

    This deal appears to be in response to the Rockets' inability to sign a point guard this season and will also allow the Knicks to acquire Marcus Camby via a sign-and-trade:

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Marcus Camby has agreed to sign with the New York Knicks.

    Marcus Camby has reached agreement on a deal with the Knicks, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

    The deal is a reported $13.2 million over the next three years. Camby will add great depth behind Tyson Chandler at the 5. He's an intelligent player who stays out of foul rouble and rebounds better than anyone currently on the Knicks roster.

    The Rockets receive more young parts to mix, match and/or cut as necessary.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's New York Knicks offseason tracker.

Luis Scola Amnestied in Pursuit of D12

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    Update: Sunday, July 15 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Phoenix Suns continued their active offseason on Sunday, winning the rights to one Luis Scola. Marc Stein of ESPN.com has the news.

    The NBA's 30 teams have just been notified that Phoenix has won waiver auction for Luis Scola

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 15, 2012

    This gives the Suns a formidable front court with Scola pairing alongside Marcin Gortat. It also further establishes the Suns as one of the Western Conference's best up-and-coming units.

    Update: Saturday, July 14 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Even though the Dallas Mavericks just snagged Elton Brand off the waiver wire, they are still interested in another recently-amnestied power forward: Luis Scola.

    According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers have turned from Kris Humphries sign-and-trade options towards signing Scola as well:

    Any team that bids for Scola must commit to minimum of $3+ mil in Year 1 & $10+ mil over three years. Cavs join Mavs w/certifiable interest

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 14, 2012

    Since neither Scola nor Brand can play center, it's strange that Dallas would want yet another backup for Dirk Nowitzki and/or Chris Kaman.

    However, Scola would make a great veteran addition to a wet-behind-the-ears Cavs team that could use his toughness, passing and low-block confidence. Unlike Humphries, Scola is a completely-proven commodity who would absolutely mark a step forward for Cleveland's development.

    Any team that claims him off of waivers will have to absorb a large portion of Scola's old contract, whereas the price may significantly drop if he survives to become an unrestricted free agent.

    Update: Friday, July 13 -- Joel C. Cordes

    It didn't take long for Luis Scola's suitors to line up around the block. The power forward has carved a niche as one of the game's tougher and more versatile "near-stars", and his ability to play numerous roles has more than one contender pushing hard to sign him.

    ESPN.com reports that the Dallas Mavericks want to be the first in line. While they've already been linked to Elton Brand, Scola would be the upgrade. He's bigger, younger (slightly) and has a greater passing, rebounding and defensive presence. 

    However, claiming Scola off waivers means any team will have to absorb the next three years of his contract, whereas Brand's is expiring after this season. 

    It's surprising to see the Houston Rockets move away so quickly from one of "their guys", but they did just draft a whole slew of power forwards during  the past few drafts. They're clearly in rebuilding phase, and it's in both Scola's and their best interests if he plays for a contender.

    - End of Update - 

    Per a report via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, it appears as if the Houston Rockets are re-inserting themselves in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. The step they've taken should come as a surprise to many.

    Houston has decided to use the amnesty provision on Luis Scola and will likely file with NBA on Friday, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2012

    While we could speculate the potential moves made by the Houston Rockets, it's important to note that Scola has serious value on the free agent market. The 32 year old power forward has been one of the most consistent contributors in the NBA since entering the league five years ago.

    With a surplus of teams needing a low-post scorer, Scola could find a new home before D-12 finds Houston.

    UPDATE (7/12/12 at 6:35 p.m. EDT) by Maxwell Ogden

    In a last ditch attempt to secure their spot in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Houston Rockets have used their amnesty clause on Luis Scola.

    Houston has decided to use the amnesty provision on Luis Scola and will likely file with NBA on Friday, league sources tell Y! Sports.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2012

    Wojnarowski continues to report that the Rockets will be attempting to surround Dwight Howard with the same group he was hoping to escape.

    The Rockets will soon have the space to absorb Orlando's Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Duhon and Epcot Center.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2012

    This may not do much for the Rockets' chances of having Dwight Howard re-sign in 2013, but it certainly increases the chances of landing the big man.

    --End of Update--

    Contrary to popular belief, the Houston Rockets have not yet eliminated themselves from the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Instead, Houston continues to go to drastic measures to acquire the superstar big man.

    Very interesting wrinkle - possibility of Scola amnesty to facilitate getting Howard to Rox per @Jonathan_Feigen

    — Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 12, 2012

    Should the Rockets amnesty Scola and fail to land D-12, they would certainly dig themselves into a unique hole. Nevertheless, it may get done.

Donatas Montiejunas Arrives

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    Update: Friday, July 6 -- Joel C. Cordes

    The Rockets drafted Donatas Montiejunas with their first-round pick in 2011, knowing that he would be a project and that they'd have to wait awhile to bring him state-side.

    They actually didn't have to wait that long.

    According to the Houston Chronicle's Rockets blog, Montiejunas will sign a four-year, $4.2 million deal and will play for the Rockets' Summer League squad.

    As a skilled, legit seven footer, Montiejunas won't be ready for huge minutes as a 21-year old. However, Houston wants to get his trial by fire over with as soon as possible. He won't be a starter, but is penciled in to be a rotation body going forward.

Goran Dragic Signs with the Suns

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    Update: Thursday, July 5 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Goran Dragic was the quirky understudy to Steve Nash for two seasons with the Phoenix Suns, but it was always uncertain whether he would be starting material.

    Then he left for the Houston Rockets and put that notion to rest. After taking over for an injured Kyle Lowry, Dragic started 28 games in 2012 and consistently showed the driving, shooting and passing ability he had flashed inconsistently during his previous seasons.

    Now, with Steve Nash out the door, the Suns have brought Dragic back:

    Going online now: Suns move quickly after Steve Nash trade and strike four-year deal with Goran Dragic worth $34 million, sources tell ESPN

    — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012

    Having already drafted Kendall Marshall, the Suns clearly signed Dragic to be their starter. The Rockets let Dragic go without much of a fight as they pursued Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard with their cap space.

Kyle Lowry Traded to Toronto

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    Update: Thursday, July 5

    The Toronto Raptors may have missed out on Steve Nash, but that doesn't mean they'll be heading into next season with Jose Calderon as the starting point guard once again.

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets will send Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors:

    Houston has reached agreement to send Kyle Lowry to the Raptors for a package that includes a future lottery pick, source tells Y!

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2012

    The 26-year-old point guard had his best all-around season this year and has steadily improved since his early days with the Memphis Grizzlies. In 47 games, he averaged 14.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds.

    Lowry will bring a dynamic scoring ability to Toronto's backcourt, along with a combination of strength and quickness that allows him to make some noise in the paint.

    What this means for Jose Calderon's future isn't entirely clear just yet. The veteran passer has one more season on his contract, but the Raptors could decide to let him go so that he can pursue a starting job elsewhere.

    - End of Update - 

    The Houston Rockets might have thought they had security at point guard with the emergence of Kyle Lowry. Now, Lowry looks like he's about the shake the ground underneath Daryl Morey's feet.

    Lowry told the Houston Chronicle that he might have issues with Kevin McHale as head coach, saying, "If things aren't changed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved."

    Possibilities are already emerging in case Lowry goes hard demanding a trade. The Houston Chronicle floated the possibility that he'd be interested in the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The Lakers are an interesting possibility since they might be looking for a new point guard if Ramon Sessions doesn't exercise his player option.

    The Toronto Sun noted that the Toronto Raptors are interested in Lowry. Raptors coach Dwane Casey praised Lowry, saying, "He's a hell of a competitor. He's the heart and soul and the spirit of the team and I love the way he plays."

    The Raptors might not be Lowry's favorite destination, considering their record, but if the Raptors push hard and make a good presentation to the Rockets, it could happen. This might force competition with Jose Calderon if Lowry goes to Toronto, although the Raptors would probably be just as happy to have competition with one more talented player.

    The next couple months might reveal whether anything materializes on the trade front with Lowry.

Rockets Receive 14th Pick in Draft Lottery

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    The Houston Rockets stayed right where they were projected at No. 14 after everything was announced during the draft lottery on Wednesday, per ESPN.

    As with any other team, the draft lottery results set off a flurry of speculation about who the Rockets would pick. DraftExpress.com projected the Rockets to take Tyler Zeller of North Carolina with the No. 14 pick, and then Terrence Ross from Washington with the No. 16 pick.

    Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle laid out the Rockets' options with a breakdown of 13 players the Rockets could consider with their first-round picks.

    The Rockets will have plenty of time to evaluate players to draft in the first round. They'll have several players to keep their eyes on, since the middle of the first round is more wide open than the first five picks.

Rockets Scout Suspended

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    The Rockets ran into a bit of front office trouble due to business done during the lockout. Rockets personnel scout David Patrick was suspended by the NBA for improper contact with players during the lockout, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! tweeted (per Houston Chronicle).

    The Rockets weren't fined for the exchanges.

    The NBA said that the contact was personal, not of a business nature.

    2011-12 was Patrick's second year in Houston.

Pau Gasol Still a Possibility

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    The Rockets could still get Pau Gasol in a trade. The Houston Chronicle broke down persistent rumors that Gasol could go to the Rockets.

    This is terrific news for Rockets fans, who watched Luis Scola slide through a down year, with decreased scoring and rebounding and more fouls.

    We'll have to see if the rumors turn into real action for the Rockets.