Dubs Waive 2 Frontrunners For Final Roster Spot: Report

Getty Avery Bradley #11 of the Miami Heat directs the offense against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter on December 29, 2020.

The Golden State Warriors made a statement Friday by sending four members of their roster packing, including the two perceived frontrunners to claim the team’s 15th and final roster spot.

The statement? That maybe the Dubs don’t need a 15th man on the roster, at least not yet and not for the price it might cost them.

Golden State waived defensive specialist and former NBA champion guard Avery Bradley, former member of their active roster and summer league standout guard Gary Payton II, a third guard in Mychal Mulder and frontcourt player Jordan Bell.

Shams Charania, NBA insider for The Athletic, broke the news on Twitter Friday night, October 16 of Avery’s release.

“The Warriors are waiving veteran guard Avery Bradley, sources tell me and @anthonyVslater,” Charania wrote.

The rest of the avalanche of roster news was initially released via an official press release from the Warriors franchise, also on Friday. The Dubs will open their season on Tuesday, October 19 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State Cuts Roster to 16 Players With Wave of Waiver Moves

Avery Bradley

GettyAvery Bradley drives the ball in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to the team’s press release, Bradley, Bell and Mulder each appeared in four preseason games with the Warriors before being cut. Their departures, along with Payton’s, left the Dubs roster tally at 16.

Bradley put up 4.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.25 steals after joining with the team on September 24.

Bell also came aboard the Dubs’ roster the same day, putting up 3 points and 1.5 rebounds for the Warriors this preseason.

Mulder led the three in scoring average with 5.8 points per outing. He signed a multi-year deal with the Dubs back in March of 2020.

Payton’s Fortune With Warriors Possibly Marred by Untimely Injury

Gary Payton II

GettyGary Payton II, of the Golden State Warriors, brings the ball up the court against the Orlando Magic during the 2021 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 9, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Payton appeared in just one preseason contest due to a non-sports hernia he suffered earlier this summer that required surgery to repair. He dropped in 12 points and registered 1 rebound, 1 steal and 1 block in his only outing with the Warriors.

Son of Hall of Fame player Gary Payton Sr., the defensive menace appeared in 10 games for the Dubs down the stretch last season and became a favorite of the coaching staff over the summer, according to an article published in September by Anthony Slater, of The Athletic. Payton averaged 2.5 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.6 steals each night during his regular season stint with Golden State, per Basketball Reference.

“The way they play and the way I play, I feel like it’s the perfect fit,” Payton told Slater. “(Steph Curry) will have the ball, so I just gotta cut, make the right plays, hit open shots and continue to play defense.”

Slater had previously characterized Payton as a slim leader in the clubhouse for the Dubs’ final roster spot headed into the preseason, but that was before the injury. Slater noted that because of the timing of the surgery, and how it would limit Payton’s availability to prove himself, Bradley had subsequently stepped into the role frontrunner.

Dubs May Choose Money Over Depth, Leave 15th Roster Spot Vacant


GettyGolden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr during a game in May.

However, after both Bradley and Payton were cut, it appears the Warriors may be considering leaving the final roster spot vacant. Already over the cap, filling the position could prove a costly proposition for the Dubs depending on who fills it, how much they are paid and how that effects Golden State’s luxury tax implications.

Slater tweeted details of the situation Friday night.

“Warriors have also waived Gary Payton II. The 15th spot is currently vacant. But Steve Kerr said there will be ‘discussions’ in the coming days about the vacnacy,” Slater tweeted. “I’m hearing that there is a possibility of bringing Payton back, once the process plays out.”

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