It turns out the Lakers wanted more than the last word.
The Lakers may have received assurances from Howard that they will be the last team he meets as he explores the free agent market. But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak still briefly met with center Dwight Howard shortly after free agency began at 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to a league source familiar with the discussions.
“It went well,” the source said.
The Lakers still plan to meet with Howard on Tuesday in what will be a more formal discussion on why he should resign with the team to a five-year, $118 million deal, as opposed to a four-year, $87.6 million deal with any other team.
Kupchak’s face-to-face meeting with Howard took place before he had dinner in Los Angeles with several members of the Houston Rockets organization. They included owner Les Alexander, coach Kevin McHale, general manager Daryl Morey, Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, as well as current Rockets players James Harden and Chandler Parsons.
Howard plans to meet with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors on Monday and the Dallas Mavericks and the Lakers on Tuesday, according to league sources.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org