The Houston Rockets are planning to keep Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik despite the arrival of All-Star center Dwight Howard, team general manager Daryl Morey said on Saturday.
Morey said he's going to keep the core of the team intact amid several trade rumors involving Lin and Asik. The general manager added that Howard and James Harden want the two players to remain with the team and play for the Championship this season.
"The reality is James and Dwight want to play with Jeremy and Omer," Morey told ESPN "I've been kicked down to assistant GM. They're going to be here."
Asik, who was signed by the Rockets last summer for a three-year deal, demanded a trade right away after learning Howard's decision to play in Houston. However, the Rockets management remains adamant on Asik's request, believing the two will co-exist on the floor at the same time.
Morey added that Asik and Howard will instantly give the Rockets one of the most formidable frontcourt tandem on the defensive end.
"When we didn't have Omer out there last year, we [stunk]. I mean, we were terrible. That was where we lost games. When we had Omer out there, we were a top-10 defensive team.
"Now we have a defensive player of the year and Omer. That position is so important if you're going to have a solid defense. Now we have two of the best in the league. I am very excited," Morey told the Houston Chronicle, as posted by ESPN.
Howard also expressed his desire to play with both Asik and Lin, believing those two players will make things better for the Rockets.
"He's a big piece to us winning a championship if we're going to make that run. He and Jeremy Lin will be very good playing with me. I'm going to do whatever I can to make those guys' lives better. I realize how much they mean to this team," Howard said in Saturday's press conference in Houston.