Without the reassuring voice of Jerry Buss, the late Lakers owner whose 11th-hour phone call prevented Kobe Bryant from going to the Clippers in 2004, the Lakers are turning to two veterans to help keep center Dwight Howard in Los Angeles.
Bryant and Steve Nash will be part of the Lakers' delegation that meets Tuesday with Howard to try to persuade him to sign a five-year, $118 million contract.
They'll be joined by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike D'Antoni. Team executives Jeanie Buss and Jim Buss are also expected to attend the meeting at an undisclosed Los Angeles location.
The Lakers are battling two other teams, Houston and Dallas. The Rockets waived Carlos Delfino and Aaron Brooks and agreed to trade Thomas Robinson to Portland, clearing cap room to help pursue Howard.
The Trail Blazers will give Houston two future second-round picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic, league sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.
The Warriors and Atlanta also will meet with Howard, though both are considered long shots to land him.
Clippers: All early indications Sunday were that point guard Chris Paul was going to re-sign with Los Angeles.
The Clippers' plan was to offer Paul a maximum five-year deal worth $107.3 million when the free-agency period opened Sunday night. Paul, an unrestricted free agent, can agree to the deal immediately, but he can't sign a contract until the NBA lifts its moratorium July 10.
The Clippers also have interest in free-agent shooting guard Tony Allen, who played last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, the executives said.
Trade in works: The New York Knicks were close to trading two players they signed last year for former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani.
The Knicks agreed in principle to send Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, a 2016 first-round pick and at least one second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Bargnani, widely considered a disappointment after being taken with the first pick in 2006.
The NBA didn't approve the trade Sunday night. It has to be reconstructed to make the salaries match up because they change Monday. Camby's and Novak's salaries decrease, and Bargnani's increases.
Because both sides want the trade to happen, it's expected to be revisited Monday and revised. The reworked deal likely will include the Knicks signing and trading a player for the minimum -- perhaps Earl Barron or Quentin Richardson -- so it probably won't be official until July 10.
Grizzlies: Guard Jerryd Bayless has exercised his player option and will return to Memphis next season. Terms of the deal weren't released by the team.
The Associated Press and Newsday contributed to this report.