2013 NBA

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has begun the pitch process of bringing back All-Star center Dwight Howard, whom he believes will remain with them when free agency officially begins July 1.

"I spoke to him maybe a couple weeks ago, just to check in with him, see what he was doing, see what he was up to, see how his summer was going," Bryant said. "We'll touch base a lot more."

Bryant said he wants to make sure he has the "final word" to getting in Howard's ear.

Despite the disappointing season the Lakers had with Howard, Bryant maintained it is important for the Lakers to re-sign Howard to a five-year, $118 million contract extension.

"It's not like you have guys like Dwight Howard just walking around every day," said Bryant, who added that teams who have players of his caliber should try to lock them in.

He also noted that the Lakers history of having great centers makes the team a perfect spot for Howard.

Bryant also expects Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul to stay with his current team.

Howard and Paul are set to be unrestricted free agents and have expressed interest in playing together.








Kobe Bryant persuading Dwight Howard to stay with Lakers