Rockets put Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin on trading block, according to report

Scott Halleran

The Rockets are confident that they will land Dwight Howard in free agency, and because of that, they're making Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin available in a trade.

Confident that they will land Dwight Howard in free agency, the Houston Rockets have put Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin on the trading block, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger.

The Rockets have the first meeting with Howard when free agency opens up at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday, and they are "oozing confidence" that they will be able to nab the big man away from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Houston was able to clear max cap space for Howard by trading Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night, but they're still hoping to deal Asik and Lin. Asik would clearly become expendable if the Rockets acquired Howard, and trading the Turkish center would bring help in other areas.

The inclusion of Lin in trade talks is a tad surprising, as the only other point guards on the roster are Patrick Beverley and the recently drafted Isaiah Canaan. However, Beverley emerged as a quality player last season and could slide into the starting spot, and Lin could possibly be dealt for another point guard or for more rotation players.

Both Asik and Lin were signed last offseason to three-year, backloaded $25.1 million contracts as restricted free agents. They both are owed $8.375 million over each of the next two seasons.

One potential destination for Asik is Philadelphia, where former Rockets executive Sam Hinkie is the Sixers' new general manager. Hinkie was in Houston last year when the Rockets signed Asik and Lin to those backloaded contracts.

A possible landing spot for Lin is Detroit. Berger says the Rockets could acquire Jose Calderon from the Pistons in a sign-and-trade deal.

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