Lakers expected to be last of five teams to meet with the star.
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is set for meetings with five different franchises as he prioritises winning championships ahead of his big decision as a free agent.
Howard, who has spent just a solitary season at the Staples Center, is expected to meet with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, before finally sitting down with management from LA.
The Lakers can offer a max deal of $118m for five seasons while other teams will only be able to offer a maximum of $88m over four years.
However, early speculation suggests that Howard will not stay at the Staples Center next season, despite the best efforts of the organisation in attempting to persuade him to do so.
The Lakers launched a billboard campaign last week, with posters around the city labelled with the “#StayD12”, and although they have chosen to speak with him last, it is unclear at this stage as to whether Howard believes they are capable of building a championship-winning roster next season.
It is understood that Howard was also unhappy with coach Mike D’Antoni’s system last season, but an ESPN source has reiterated that the player will not push to have him fired if he is to stay in LA.
Nevertheless, the likes of the Rockets and Mavericks are expected to pull out all the stops in their bid to prize Howard away, with management, players and former All-Stars expected to form part of the groups to meet the former Orlando Magic star.
It’s been a while since Howard was involved in an NBA Finals series, and with suggestions that he wants to be back there next season it remains to be seen who he deems the most capable of giving him that platform.