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Lakers' campaign to keep Dwight Howard continues with billboards

June 26, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • A billboard on the side of Staples Center is the latest in a public campaign by the Lakers to retain the center.
A billboard on the side of Staples Center is the latest in a public campaign… (@Lakers / Twitter )

The Lakers' campaign to keep free-agent center Dwight Howard continued Wednesday with two public pleas for Howard to stay.

The first, a billboard at Staples Center, features a photo of the center with the words, "Stay. #stayD12."

Another variation of the theme has been erected in Hollywood.

Howard will officially become a free agent on July 1.

The Houston Rockets may be the Lakers' greatest competition for Howard but the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and a number of other NBA franchises are also expected to make a pitch.

While Howard can reach a verbal agreement immediately on July 1, he cannot sign a contract until July 10, upon completion of the league's annual moratorium.

The Lakers can pay Howard up to $118 million for five years. While other teams can only offer up to $88 million over four, the three teams in Texas (San Antonio Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks) have tax advantages that would make up some of the difference.

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eric.pincus@gmail.com

Twitter: @EricPincus

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