The Golden State Warriors long and bizarre trade deadline saga looks set for completion. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Warriors are going to finalize their trade for Gary Payton II, despite hesitation after Payton failed his physical on Friday.
The Warriors will go through with the Gary Payton II four-team trade, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Golden State will not pass Payton’s physical exam, sources said, but has decided to move forward with deal that brings back the key 2022 championship piece.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 12, 2023
The reason for the two-day hold up? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors were trying to make sure that they could accept the deal while still taking action against the Portland Trail Blazers in the offseason. The Blazers reportedly did not disclose that Payton was still dealing with complications from his offseason core surgery, nor did they disclose that Payton was taking painkillers in order to play (at the urging of the team doctors).
Warriors team doctors believe that Payton will need to be sidelined two or three months to let the injury heal fully, despite playing the night before the trade … against the Warriors.
By accepting the trade but not passing the physical, the Warriors presumably can take some sort of action against Portland at a later date.
This seemed like the likely move all along. Even if Payton can’t play this year, he provides salary relief and is under contract for two more years. He also sat next to general manager Bob Myers — while wearing a Warriors sweatshirt — at Chase Center during Saturday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. That certainly seemed to be the Warriors tipping their hand.
With the deal complete, James Wiseman is officially a member of the Detroit Pistons. The Blazers will receive Kevin Knox II and five second-round picks, while the Atlanta Hawks receive Saddiq Bey in the four-team deal.