UPDATE (June 30, 2015): According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Kobe Bryant will be a part of the LaMarcus Aldridge pitch meeting along with other members of the Los Angeles Lakers:
According to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, Bryant is expected to be part of the meeting with Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The meeting with the big man who is widely expected not to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers is also expected to include Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, vice president of public relations John Black, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the process.
The Los Angeles Lakers are set to meet with LaMarcus Aldridge once free agency begins at 9:00 PM PST tonight. The Lakers will hope to convince Aldridge to join the franchise’s rebuilding efforts that has kicked into high gear this off-season.
The Lakers look to be pulling out all the stops to bring Aldridge in as Kobe Bryant is expected to take part in the meeting according to Sam Amick of USA Today:
As Lakers prepare for meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge tonight, I'm told Kobe Bryant is expected to take part. Not definite, but that's plan.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2015
General Manager Mitch Kupchak has spoken about Kobe’s role in free agency saying that he would call on him whenever he needed Kobe and it looks like they are calling on him now. Aldridge is one of the top players available and landing him would immediately make the Lakers a team to watch in the Western Conference.
There have long been conflicting reports about how Kobe’s presence impacts potential free agents with the infamous Dwight Howard meeting standing out. Many players, however, have come out and said that they would love to play with Kobe. How much longer Kobe plays is still up in the air, however, as he doesn’t know if this will indeed be his final season.
The Lakers are set on landing a big name this summer and hopefully Kobe, Mitch, and the rest of the Lakers front office will be able to convince Aldridge to come along. If they are unsuccessful, the team will have to turn to Plan B this summer.[divide]