The Rockets have been collecting draft picks for a potential package to entice Orlando to send All-Star center Dwight Howard their way. The Lowry deal was in place several days ago, but Wednesday was the first day teams could finalize the moves they've made since free agency began on July 1.
Lin catapulted to stardom in New York during a dazzling stretch in February where he scored at least 20 points in nine of 10 games. The Knicks are expected to match Houston's offer and retain Lin, who was undrafted out of Harvard.
Lowry played four seasons in Houston and averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists last season.
The Rockets wanted to re-sign Goran Dragic, who took over the starting role and played well after Lowry was sidelined with a bacterial infection. But Dragic agreed to a four-year, $30 million contract to rejoin Phoenix, where he played from 2008-11.
Houston will also trade center Marcus Camby to New York for guard Toney Douglas, centers Josh Harrelson and Jerome Jordan and second-round picks in 2014 and '15. The 6-foot-11 Camby will be back in New York where he played from 1998-2002.
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 used their three first-round draft picks as they stood on Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb, Iowa State forward Royce White and Kentucky forward Terrence Jones.
Houston opened free agency by getting the 7-foot Asik, a restricted free agent, to agree to a three-year, $25 million offer. The Rockets have needed a big man since Yao Ming became increasingly injury-prone and finally retired last summer.
When Dragic took the Suns' offer, the Rockets traded Lowry and offered Lin a four-year, $28 million deal. The Rockets claimed Lin off waivers last December, but then waived him just before the lockout-shortened season began, so they could sign Dalembert.