Kobe Bryant to meet with Dwight Howard

Adrian Wojnarowski
The Vertical

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant plans to be part of the presentation on Tuesday to convince free-agent center Dwight Howard to re-sign with the franchise, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

The Lakers are expected to make the final case to Howard in Los Angeles, letting Houston, Dallas, Golden State and Atlanta go before them. Bryant has offered to be a part of the contingent that will include the Buss family, general manager Mitch Kupchak and possibly coach Mike D'Antoni.

Howard and Bryant have had a tepid relationship, but have stayed in touch in the offseason.

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.

Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Complete list of NBA free agents
Teams line up to court FA Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard competes for video game championship on eve of free agency

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