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Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has also spent years trying to land a top-tier superstar who he envisions as the cornerstone of a championship-caliber team. The Rockets were close to getting Pau Gasol before last season in a proposed deal that also would have sent All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Lakers. But NBA Commissioner David Stern, acting on behalf of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets, vetoed the deal that would have brought Lamar Odom to the Hornets, along with Scola, Kevin Martin, Dragic and a first-round pick.
On Tuesday, the Rockets completed a trade of Lowry to Toronto for a lottery-protected, first-round pick and a sign-and-trade deal that sent Marcus Camby to New York for two future second-round picks and three other players.
Before the draft, Houston traded forward Chase Budinger and center Samuel Dalembert in separate deals that netted two first-round picks. The Rockets were reportedly shopping the picks to move up in the draft, but eventually stayed put and used their three first-round draft picks on Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb, Iowa State forward Royce White, and Kentucky forward Terrence Jones.
Houston also is expected to sign Bulls center Omer Asik to an offer sheet. Earlier in free agency, Asik agreed to a three-year, $25 million offer.
The Rockets turned back to Lin after the unrestricted free agent Dragic signed a four-year, $30 million deal with Phoenix.
The 7-foot Asik was playing professionally in Turkey when he was picked by Portland in the second round of the 2008 draft and immediately traded to Chicago in a three-team deal. He played in 66 games last season, but only averaged 3.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and one block per game. Asik helped Turkey earn the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA world championship.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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