Payton's agent said, "He didn't want to let Karl down, either. He looked at this as an opportunity for both of them.... I know that Karl being there was one of the reasons he made his decision." Agent Aaron Goodwin estimated Payton gave up about $35 million â€” offered, Goodwin said, by the Portland Trail Blazers in a sign-and-trade scenario â€” to join the Lakers, in part because he was so impressed by Malone's willingness to accept less money to enable Lakers to pursue Payton. The two perennial All-Stars spoke on Sunday, and clearly Payton expects Malone to sign with the Lakers.
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