Getting early read on how West will react

Gary Payton's earthshaking decision to sign with the Lakers sent tremors throughout the West.

Updated: July 8, 2003, 8:06 PM ET
By David Aldridge | Special to ESPN.com

The first domino has fallen. It could be the most important of all.

Assuming the Miami Heat don't do something in the next seven days to change Gary Payton's mind -- it is possible that the Hots could offer Payton substantially more than the approximately $40 million they have on the table now, conceivably up to $82 million or so over six years -- Payton's decision to go to the Lakers next season shakes up the West seismically. The ripple effects are already in the water.

For one, ...

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