Blazers lure away Gary Payton II from Golden State

Gary Payton II is finalizing a multi-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers worth $28M, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Payton II is getting rewarded for a breakout season.

After bouncing around the league since his rookie season in 2016-17, he finally found a fit in Golden State that allowed his game to flourish. Viewed as a point-guard at the start of his career, Payton was used as a wing or even a center by the Warriors.

He appeared in 71 games (16 starts) with the NBA champs this season, averaging a career-high 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes. He missed time during the postseason with a fractured elbow, but returned for the Finals.

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He helped the Warriors to their sixth championship in franchise history, averaging 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in five games vs Boston. Before joining the Warriors in April 2021, he played for the Raptors’ G League affiliate.

The Blazers used most of their mid-level exception to sign the explosive guard. He made just $1.9 million last season- $9.3 million per year represents a significant raise for him. Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Payton’s contract includes a player option.


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