July 4 â€” According to the L.A. Times, "negotiations with Karl Malone have gone so well that (the Lakers) are considering the possibility they could sign him and still offer their full mid-level exception to Gary Payton."
Sources with knowledge of conversations between Malone and General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Malone expressed a desire to sign with the Lakers as well as an appreciation for their wish for a guard, namely Payton.
Malone, it appears, has made the Lakers the perfect offer: his services for as low as the veteran's minimum exception ($1.5 million for the first year), or whatever rate they agree would be necessary to top off their roster with Payton. It is possible the offer is dependent on the mid-level money going to Payton. If not, the Lakers could split the mid-level to improve their depth in the backcourt and sign another front-court player, perhaps Robert Horry, or use the entire mid-level exception for Malone. The Lakers also could lose Malone if Payton declines their offer.
In the process, Malone has convinced the Lakers that his only agenda, in what would be his 19th NBA season, would be to win the championship that eluded him in Utah.
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lak ... nes-sports
Courtesy of LA Times.