Kobe Bryant stressed the importance of the Los Angeles Lakers re-signing Dwight Howard this offseason.
"Those guys are hard to find, they don't grow on trees," Bryant said on 710 ESPN Los Angeles. "When you have someone like that with his talent level, you have to be able to keep him and lock him in with this franchise."
Howard will likely meet with the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.
The Lakers can offer Howard more money and seasons than any other team, though he appears to genuinely prefer the situation that increases his odds of being on a title contender.
"I've spoken to him maybe a couple of weeks ago, just to check in with him," said Bryant. "I haven't spoken to him since. I know he's got a big decision to make and I'm sure he'll take the visits and talk to the players on the teams he's considering. We'll touch base a lot more."
Bryant expects Howard and Chris Paul to re-sign with their respective teams.
"There's always so much talk going on, especially with big-name guys going here, going there, but that happens once in a blue moon," Bryant said. "I think at the end of the day, everybody stays."