Despite reports suggesting otherwise, the Rockets are not looking to deal Jeremy Lin or Omer Asik, GM Daryl Morey tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. There have been rumors and rumblings indicating that both players could be expendable if the Rockets sign Dwight Howard.
Morey's comments don't come as a surprise, and I don't think they rule out the possibility of Houston making a move involving one or both players. The Rockets GM likely is simply attempting to regain some leverage and to ensure that Lin and Asik won't be uncomfortable if they remain with the Rockets going forward.
Should Howard agree to sign with the Rockets, moving Lin and Asik would certainly represent the team's best chance at bringing in a third impact player to complement D12 and James Harden. Lin and Asik each have two years remaining on their contracts, with cap hits of about $8.37MM each for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Considering the Rockets reportedly want to add Josh Smith to go along with Howard, Houston could attempt to send Lin and Asik to Atlanta in a package for a signed-and-traded Smith. It's not clear whether the Hawks would have interest in such a deal (the Rockets may have to dangle other young players or draft picks to pique Atlanta's interest), but that's just one example of an avenue the Rockets could explore.
For now though, according to Morey at least, Houston appears content to hang on to both players.