Warriors to complete Gary Payton II trade after deal was in jeopardy due to medical information, per report

After hitting a snag in a proposed trade that would reunite Gary Payton II with the Golden State Warriors, the deal will go through as planned, per The Athletic. The deal was in jeopardy Saturday night after it was reported that Payton’s physical post-trade revealed a core muscle injury that could keep him out for up to three months.

Because of that revelation, the Warriors filed a complaint against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the league launched an investigation into the matter. If the Trail Blazers are found to have misled Golden State regarding Payton’s health, they could be punished with a fine and or loss of draft picks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The initial four-team trade, which was in place prior to the trade deadline on Feb. 9, also included sending James Wiseman to Detroit, Saddiq Bey going to Atlanta and Kevin Knox heading to the Trail Blazers along with five future second-round picks. Wojnarowski reports that while the deal is expected to go through on Sunday, the Warriors are working with the league to look at ways to “preserve their rights to pursue recourse on how Payton’s medical information was shared.”

Payton, who won a championship with the Warriors last season, did not make his season debut with Portland until Jan. 2 after undergoing abdominal surgery in the offseason. In December, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said that Payton was also trying to overcome mental roadblocks to get on the court.

“Medically we’ve and he’s done everything that he can do,” Billups said at the time. “I always tell people a lot of times like nobody really understands like when you have an injury, you have surgery, there’s not just the physical component that you have to get over, there’s a mental component as well. You don’t want to get hurt again, you don’t want to re-injure yourself, and I think that that’s kind of where it is with G is like, he’s just trying to get over that.”

In 15 games since returning to the Blazers, the defensive specialist has averaged 4.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 17 minutes per game. The Athletic reported that Payton had been continuing to play through pain in Portland, where the training staff had been giving him Toradol shots to get him on the court, unbeknownst to Golden State.

On Saturday, Chris Haynes reported that Payton’s agent Aaron Goodwin said, “despite of what’s being reported, my client never took Toradol shots to be available for games during his time in Portland.” Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin also categorically denied the report, saying they would not have played Payton if he weren’t healthy.

“Player safety is super important to us, it’s a super important thing around the league,” Cronin said, via Bill Oram of The Oregonian. “We were playing him, he was playing. He had been cleared. We were confident that he was healthy when he was playing. We would not have brought him back if we thought he wasn’t healthy or he was at risk, so you trust that we did the right thing, and you trust that our process was correct. And these reports, I think … The clearance process was proper, so I’ll have to rely on that.”

Last season as a Warrior, Payton put up 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He is expected to contribute to a Warriors defense that has fallen from No. 2 in the NBA last season to No. 18 this season. 

Now that the deal is expected to be finalized, Wiseman will receive a fresh start in Detroit, while Bey will slot into a rotation spot with Atlanta. Though the deal hit an initial roadblock, it appears all the teams involved will get what they wanted from this trade.


You might like

About the Author: NBA NEWS SITE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *