Houston braces for Linsanity

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Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson said in Las Vegas that the team hopes Lin brings stability to the point guard position for many seasons in Houston.

“We expect Jeremy to come in and be our point guard,” Sampson said. “We’re not looking for anything other than that. He’s a high-character kid, plays hard, really good off pick and rolls. I think he’s good in transition. We’re going with a really young team next year and Jeremy, with his work ethic and his leadership, I think he’s going to be what we really need.”

Before the season arrives, general manager Daryl Morey still has work to do.

The next major priority for Houston is finding a big man. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is still available in a potential trade, but that might be long shot. The Rockets expect to sign Bulls center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25 million offer sheet that is similar to Lin’s deal.

Beyond that, Morey must replenish a roster that has been gutted over the past two weeks. The Rockets traded Chase Budinger and Samuel Dalembert and stockpiled draft picks for a package aimed at enticing Orlando to send them Howard, a six-time All-Star.

Houston made three first-round draft picks, selecting Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb, Iowa State forward Royce White, and Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, who all remain unsigned.

The Rockets lost unrestricted free agent Dragic to Phoenix, began their pursuit of Lin, and traded Lowry to Toronto. They withdrew their qualifying offer to guard Courtney Lee, completed a sign-and-trade that sent center Marcus Camby to New York, and used the amnesty clause to waive forward Luis Scola.

On Wednesday, the Rockets waived forward Jon Leuer and center Jerome Jordan. Leuer came to Houston in the Dalembert trade with Milwaukee, and Jordan was acquired in the Camby deal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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