Aaron Goodwin, the agent for Gary Payton, told ESPN's David Aldridge Tuesday afternoon that Payton has chosen to sign a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, despite L.A.'s financial limitations.
The Lakers, well over the NBA's $40-plus million salary cap, were limited to offering Payton a starting salary of $4.9 million for next season. It is believed Payton will sign a multi-year deal with the dethroned champions on July 16, the first day teams are permitted to formally sign free agents.
"He could have taken a lot more money to go somewhere else," said Goodwin, referring to efforts by the Portland Trail Blazers to acquired Payton in a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee. "But he's going to Los Angeles to follow his dream."
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