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Lakers work on keeping Howard

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, players Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and other representatives of the team met Tuesday for about two hours with free agent center Dwight Howard to make their pitch for keeping him in Los Angeles.

"At the meeting, we told him how important he is to the Lakers team, franchise, fans and community, and why we feel this is the best place for him to continue his career," Kupchak said. "We are hopeful that Dwight decides to remain a Laker."

Howard, who spent his first eight seasons with the Magic and led Orlando to the Eastern Conference title in 2009, became one of the NBA's most coveted free agents when free agency opened Monday. The Lakers have made no secret they want to keep him. The Rockets, Mavericks and Hawks also are interested.

Howard's first season in Los Angeles was a disappointment, ending in a first-round playoff sweep, and the former defensive player of the year acknowledged being unhappy at times.

The Lakers can offer a maximum of $118 million over five seasons, and other teams can offer $88 million over four years.

Three-team trade: A three-team trade will send former Magic guard J.J. Redick from the Bucks to the Clippers and see point guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler go from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The deal also would send Jared Dudley from the Suns to the Clippers. Milwaukee would get two second-round draft picks, according to Yahoo Sports, which first reported the trade. The deal, like all contracts, can't officially be made until July 10 under NBA rules. Redick would get a four-year, $27 million sign-and-trade contract. Orlando sent Redick to Milwaukee in February as part of a deal that netted Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih for the Magic.

Bulls: Veteran center Nazr Mohammed verbally agreed on a one-year contract to return at the veteran's minimum salary, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Mavericks: The team is set to add Israeli point guard Gal Mekel in free agency on July 10. He played with Israeli league champion Maccabi Haifa in 2013.

Pacers: Forward David West finalized an agreement to re-sign for $36 million over three seasons, reported.

Raptors: Jeff Weltman, who had been assistant GM with the Bucks, was named executive vice president of basketball operations.

T'wolves: Guard Kevin Martin agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal and Chase Budinger will re-sign for three years, $16 million, the Associated Press reported. Martin was a backup with Oklahoma City last season.

Wizards: Swingman Martell Webster agreed to a $22 million, four-year deal to stay, AP reported.

Hunter suit: The attorneys for the players' association and president Derek Fisher asked in California Superior Court that the lawsuit filed by former executive director Billy Hunter be dismissed.

Lakers work on keeping Howard 07/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:25pm]
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