Lakers Rumors: Latest on LA’s Efforts to Retain Superstar Dwight Howard

The Los Angeles Lakers are doing their best to hold onto superstar center Dwight Howard and lock him up to a long-term deal, but the franchise will have to sweat out the 27-year-old's multiple meetings with other prospective NBA suitors.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday, Howard has already met with the Houston Rockets, and will still receive pitches from the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.

All the options at Howard's disposal are sure to be intriguing—especially with the tumultuous campaign he endured in LA this past year.

Having said that, the Lakers are taking every step necessary to convince Howard that their organization is the best environment to foster the next critical stage of his promising career.

In a recent edition of the Los Angeles Times, a full-page ad was taken out encouraging Howard to stay, per the team's official Twitter page:

The rules of free agency play into the Lakers' hands, because the Lakers can sign Howard to a five-year, $117 million max contract. Other suitors such as the Houston Rockets can only offer four years and $88 million, per Wojnarowski.

It was essentially a given that all-time great Kobe Bryant would be prominently involved in the Lakers' recruiting—even though the relationship between he and Howard is a bit lukewarm.

Bryant knows how valuable Howard can be in his pursuit of NBA title No. 6. Wojnarowski points out that Howard is comfortable living in LA and knows how successful the Lakers have been in building championship contenders.

Combining the winning resume of Bryant in the Tuesday meeting with the successful Buss family and GM Mitch Kupchak should only enhance the Lakers' chances of keeping Howard.

Speaking of a winning tradition, the modest but absolutely vital presence of Phil Jackson as a consultant looms large, too.


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