The Mailman delivered his decision.
A league source told ESPN the Magazine's Ric Bucher that Karl Malone has decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The move comes just days after Gary Payton joined the team as well.
Malone showed strong interest in the Lakers from the start of the free-agent negotiations on July 1, to a degree that the Hall of Fame-bound power forward is apparently willing to join the dethroned champions for a mere $1.5 million -- a cut of almost $18 million from his 2002-03 salary.
The $1.5 million figure is the most L.A. could offer Malone next season after committing its $4.9 million mid-level exception to Payton. Malone would have likely been able to get more money if he signed with San Antonio, Sacramento or Dallas.
The Jazz were exploring sign-and-trade possibilities (with the Kings) and the Lakers' three West rivals were hesitant to let Malone join L.A.'s new star trio unopposed.
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