Report: Kobe Bryant plans to be part of Lakers’ presentation to Dwight Howard
Kobe Bryant plans to be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ presentation to Dwight Howard on Tuesday to convince the free-agent big man to remain in L.A., Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.
The Lakers are scheduled to have the final meeting with Howard after he talks with the Rockets, Mavericks, Warriors and Hawks, according to the report.
Bryant, who has reportedly kept in touch with Howard despite their rocky relationship, has offered to join the Buss family, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and possibly coach Mike D’Antoni at the presentation.
On Sunday, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson tweeted at Howard that he expects to see him “get on board.”
From the Yahoo! Sports report:
Howard, 27, can sign a five-year, $117 million-plus contract extension to stay with the Lakers. He has been leaning toward the Houston Rockets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports, but no one engaged in the discussions dares ruling out his staying with the Lakers.
Houston can sign Howard to a four-year, $88 million contract.
Among Howard’s comfort living in Los Angeles, his outside and marketing interests beyond basketball and the franchise’s history of rebuilding into championship contenders, the Lakers are still formidable in the process.
Bryant is rehabilitating a torn Achilles and working to try to return for the start of the 2013-14 season. The Lakers have begun an aggressive print and billboard campaign that promises to expand between now and Howard’s decision next week.
Howard will reportedly open free agency shortly after 9:01 p.m. PST by meeting with the Rockets.