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Gary Payton II joins Golden State Warriors despite health concerns

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Gary Payton II Golden State Warriors
Gary Payton II eventually joined Golden State Warriors. Photo/Sporting News
  • Gary Payton II will still join the Golden State Warriors for four terms
  • This is despite his health status
  • He underwent ligament surgery last year and did not play until January 2023

Gary Payton II will still join the Golden State Warriors for four terms despite concerns about his health status following a surgery core muscle surgery he underwent during the offseason.

Payton II remained off the courts until January 2023 when he returned to the court for Portland Trail Blazers.

According to a source with firsthand knowledge of the incident, the Warriors reportedly spoke with the NBA on Sunday regarding the Trail Blazers’ handling of the trade and information regarding Payton’s medical condition.

This is after his Friday physical revealed complications that put the trade in jeopardy. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity since there were no public specifics of the negotiations and discussions of the issue.

Gary Payton II

Gary Payton II. Photo/San Franciso Chronicle

The deadline for the defending champs to decide whether to cancel the trade that brought centre James Wiseman to Detroit was Sunday night.

In exchange for Memphis’ 2026 second-round pick and its own 2028 second-round pick, Portland will acquire Golden State’s unprotected 2026 and ’28 second-round draught picks.

The Blazers received forward Kevin Knox II from the Pistons in exchange for forward Saddiq Bey and three conditional second-round choices from the Hawks.

With Stephen Curry out with a left leg injury at least until after the All-Star break, the 30-year-old Payton, who was a crucial defensive stopper for Golden State during their championship run a year ago, would immediately add depth to the backcourt.

Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers General manager last week said that prior to agreeing to trade Payton II to Golden State Warriors, the club was fully convinced he was healthy.

Payton failed Friday’s physical for Golden State, according to The Athletic. The Warriors had the option of rescinding the transaction but opted to let it go as risky as it is.

Although the Warriors, Hawks, and Pistons—two other teams involved in the deal—had not contacted Cronin, he acknowledged being aware of the report.

Payton only spent a short while in Portland. After participating in Golden State’s NBA championship team, he agreed to a $28 million, three-year contract last summer.

But a core ailment that required surgery prevented him from playing in the first 35 games of the season in Portland.

Payton’s injury might keep him out for two to three months. He had reportedly been playing through discomfort in Portland, according to The Athletic.

Gary Payton II

Gary Payton II. Photo/Sky Sports

However, Cronin insists that Payton II was cleared to return to the court.

“He had been cleared and 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 if he was at risk,” The Athletic further quotes Cronic

Payton’s prognosis for the remainder of the year is unknown. He participated in a victory over Golden State on Wednesday night in Portland before joining his former team the following day, just before the trade deadline.

In over 15 games, Payton has averaged 4.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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