Free agent big man Dwight Howard has already met with the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks, and he’s scheduled to meet with the Dallas Mavericks early Tuesday morning. But the Los Angeles Lakers will get the final word with Howard and they are planning on bringing out the heavy hitters.
Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant will be a big part of the Lakers’ pitch, and will be joined by the team’s vice president of player personnel Jim Buss and representatives from Time Warner Cable. The Lakers and Time Warner agreed to a record television contract in 2012 that could be worth $5 billion over 25 years. Time Warner’s reps will likely be there to reveal to Howard how they plan to cover the team and feature him in the future.
On Monday Nash flew back to Los Angeles from New York to join the roster of people pitching Howard for the Lakers. Before takeoff he tweeted the following:
Flying from NYC to LA. @DwightHoward we’re coming for you. You’re going to love the statue we build for you outside Staples in 20yrs!
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) July 1, 2013
There are supposedly more people in the delegation that will pitch Howard for Los Angeles, and you can bet plenty of former Lakers greats will be involved.
Howard has reportedly been leaning towards a move to either Houston or Dallas, but no one should count the Lakers out, especially since they can offer a contract worth $30 million more than any other team.
The Lakers apparently plan to sell Howard on the fact that they will be able to acquire the necessary pieces to surround him with shooters and spread the floor, giving him room to operate inside. As things currently stand, the team is set to have plenty of cap space next summer to sign at least one max contract free agent. In fact, Nash is the only player the team has under contract for the 2014-15 season.
As of Sunday night, the Lakers are reportedly optimistic about their chances of retaining Howard. Rumors of some potential surprises during their meeting with the 27-year-old star also have the rumor mill buzzing.
While Phil Jackson won’t be in the meeting since he left for his summer home in Montana on Sunday, he did deliver a message to Howard through Twitter saying, “While i’m there I expect to see you get on board, tis ur place.”