View Full Version : Heat hesitated and lost Payton

07-11-2003, 05:32 PM
Heat hesitated and lost Payton
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

ORLANDO - (KRT) - Had the Heat taken a more aggressive stance with his client, agent Aaron Goodwin said both Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning already could have been locked up on Pat Riley's team for next season.

Instead, Goodwin, who represents Payton, arranged for his free-agent client to spend next season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I had much larger offers, including from Miami," said Goodwin, who orchestrated Payton's shift from Milwaukee to Los Angeles for the $4.8 million mid-level salary-cap exception. "And, honestly, Miami is a team he was very interested in."

Goodwin said conversations with Heat General Manager Randy Pfund did not intensify until after the 34-year-old guard committed this week to the Lakers.

"Randy and I talked, but the truth of the matter is they came in after the fact," Goodwin said. "They came in a little late, and Payton was losing his patience as far as waiting around."

Goodwin, at the Pepsi Pro Summer League in his role as adviser to Cavaliers rookie guard LeBron James, said Payton discussed a South Florida partnership with Mourning.

"Alonzo Mourning was saying, `If Gary goes to X-team, I'll go to X-team. And if Gary comes to Miami, then I'll re-sign with Miami,' " Goodwin said. "That's a conversation the two of them had. But it wasn't happening quickly enough for Gary."

Payton will sign Wednesday with the Lakers, the first day free agents can sign contracts. The deal, Goodwin said, is for one year, leaving open the possibility of future discussions with the Heat.

"He'll be in a position to play for anyone else he wants to again," Goodwin said.


07-11-2003, 05:39 PM
It just sucks that this was the ONE year guys were willing to take pay cuts, and the Mavs couldn't capitalize.

07-11-2003, 10:15 PM
What a dumb move by the Heat. With the cap space, that should have been a no brainer to land Payton.

Sounds like the Mavs, not showing enough interest until Malone committed.