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Chicago JK
06-21-2003, 10:06 AM
Payton Says He'd Fit in With Lakers

Free agent point guard Gary Payton said he would have no problem fitting in with the Laker triangle offense. It's the constraints of the NBA's salary cap that could prevent Payton from coming to Los Angeles.

Payton was traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Milwaukee Bucks last season in the last year of a seven-year, $85-million contract. His most lucrative option would be to stay with the Bucks (who can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him) or to be part of a sign-and-trade deal. Because the Lakers are over the salary cap they can't offer him more than the mid-level exception, or $4.5 million.

Minnesota, Dallas, San Antonio and Golden State are other options for Payton. San Antonio has the most salary cap room, but Payton ranks below Jason Kidd on the Spurs' point guard shopping list. Teams such as Dallas are over the cap but have more tradeable assets than the Lakers.

"I'm just going to chill," Payton said late Thursday night while attending Nike's "Battleground" one-on-one basketball tournament in Bel Air. "I'm going to see what's happening. I need a championship.

"If a team fits me, that I'm going to have a championship, then I'm going to work with it. But other than that, Milwaukee's still the first option. If they can get somebody in the draft, I'm waiting until after the draft to see what's happening."

The triangle offense used by Laker Coach Phil Jackson never featured a traditional point guard. It relies on the pass, instead of one player dribbling and creating as Payton did for so many years in Seattle.

"I could work with anything," Payton said. "That ain't nothing to me. Me and Phil will sit down and work and talk. I think I could do anything, to sacrifice anything and be right there. Everybody talking about there ain't enough balls and ain't enough shots [for Payton and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant]. Remember the Warriors with [Run] TMC? They were all averaging 20. I think we'd all do the same thing.

"I'm not putting myself into that situation. It's gotta work. I'm going to look at everybody. If Milwaukee betters themselves, I'll be with it.

Payton averaged 20.4 points and 8.3 assists last season. Both topped his career averages, and he ranked second in the league in assists.

"People think I'm going to be doing this and that," Payton said. "A lot of stuff has gotta look right to me. I'm not just going to say I'm going to take $3 million, $4 million. I'm not at that level right now. I'm at my peak. I'm 34 years old, still playing, still putting up numbers. I don't think I can settle for less."



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Mandyahl
06-21-2003, 08:48 PM
well, he is still mentioning dallas...that's always good...

one long blue sock
06-21-2003, 09:03 PM
Minnesota, Dallas, San Antonio and Golden State are other options for Payton. San Antonio has the most salary cap room, but Payton ranks below Jason Kidd on the Spurs' point guard shopping list. Teams such as Dallas are over the cap but have more tradeable assets than the Lakers.

They were mentioned twice, so if the Bucks are smart, we might just see Payton in blue next year.

Drbio
06-21-2003, 09:23 PM
I don't think I can settle for less

This is why he will stay in Milwaukee.

one long blue sock
06-21-2003, 09:25 PM
I dont know, some small team might offer him alot, and the Bucks will have to settle for a sign and trade.

superheadcat
06-22-2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by: Chicago JK
Minnesota, Dallas, San Antonio and Golden State are other options for Payton.

i don't know where this came from.

according to gp's agent, "Payton expects to look at the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers and the Warriors" (
link (http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~10835~1460178,00.html))