The Dwight Howard sweepstakes are coming to a close. The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have all made their pitches to the free-agent center, and now he has to decide whether to stay in LA or move elsewhere. Howard is going to leave Los Angeles for a few days before making his decision, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Lakers were the last team to meet with Howard, sitting down on Tuesday with the player they traded for a year ago with the hopes of persuading him to stay in purple and gold. LA focused their pitch on their history and ability to churn out contending teams year after year, according to ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin.
"The bottom line is will he take the chance to play for the biggest team, biggest fan base and winningest franchise?" a source familiar with the Lakers' pitch told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "To me, that's the biggest theme. The Lakers have the track record."
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash joined general manager Mitch Kupchak in the meeting. So did other members of the Lakers organization, representatives from AEG and from Time Warner, whose local channel shows Laker games and could offer Howard television opportunities.
But while the Lakers emphasized on their history of winning, they did not call in any former players, such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or James Worthy. Instead, the Lakers were "focusing on the present and future," a source told Dave McMenamin.
Whether Howard has been swayed enough remains to be seen. He told Ramona Shelburne, "I had a lot of great meetings."
According to McMenamin, he plans to "weigh everything out" and come to a decision before July 10, the first day players can sign with teams and when he plans to put ink to paper with one of the five teams he's met with.