The Warriors have until Sunday night to accept the deal that would bring back Gary Payton II, who has failed physically.

The Golden State Warriors are on the clock.

The team has until 9:30 pm ET Sunday to decide whether to accept the proposed four-team trade that would bring Gary Payton II back to the Bay Area and send James Wiseman, the second overall pick in 2020, to Detroit. The trade deadline was Thursday afternoon, but on Friday the Warriors said Payton failed in her physique, jeopardizing the entire deal. On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors were given until Sunday night to accept or reject the existing deal.

So let’s reset. The four-team trade that was in effect before the deadline also included forward Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks and forward Kevin Knox to the Portland Trail Blazers along with five future second-round picks.

Payton was scheduled to reunite with the Golden State Warriors, where he won a championship last season, but the Warriors’ physical revealed a core muscle injury that could keep him out for up to three months.

Payton did not make his season debut with Portland until January 2 after undergoing abdominal surgery in the offseason. In December, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said Payton was also trying to overcome mental blocks to get on the court.

“Medically we’ve done it and he’s done everything he can do,” Billups said. “I always tell people many times that nobody really understands how when you have an injury, you have surgery, there’s not just the physical component you have to overcome, there’s a mental component as well. You don’t want to get hurt again, you doesn’t want to get hurt again, and I think that’s the way it is with G, he’s just trying to get over it.”

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 continued to play in pain in Portland, where the coaching staff were giving him Toradol injections to get him on the court, unbeknownst to Golden State.

On Saturday, Chris Haynes reported that Payton’s agent Aaron Goodwin said, “despite what is being reported, my client never took doses of Toradol 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 had he not been healthy.

“Player safety is super important to us, it’s a super important thing in the league,” said Cronin, by Bill Oram of The Oregonian. “We were playing with him, he was playing. He was released. We were confident he was healthy when he was playing. We wouldn’t have brought him back if we thought he was unhealthy or at risk, so trust us we did the thing right and you trust that our process was correct. And those reports, I think… The release process was adequate, so I’ll have to rely on that.”

Last season as a Warrior, Payton averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He was expected to contribute to the Warriors’ defense, which dropped from 2nd in the NBA last season to 18th this season.

Wiseman was set to receive a fresh start in Detroit, while Bey would slot into a rotation spot with Atlanta. There are many other moving parts that depend on whether the Warriors choose to continue with the trade.

Leave a Reply

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