The Golden State Warriors don’t expect Gary Payton II back on the court anytime soon after acquiring him at the trade deadline.
The Warriors decided to go forward with the controversial four-team deal that reunited them with Payton, despite a failed physical by the 30-year-old guard. The physical revealed a lingering issue in Payton’s surgically repaired core, per The Atheltic.
While he played through the injury in Portland, he won’t be doing so with the Warriors, who plan to reevaluate him in one month.
“It is our determination he is not ready to play right now,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said on Monday. “Hopefully we do get him back at some point. The goal would be pre-playoffs.”
It’s a rough reality for the Warriors, who were hoping they were acquiring a player who could help bolster their playoff push, especially with superstar Stephen Curry sidelined with a leg injury.
“Rehab. It’s all rehab. He isn’t on the court,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “There’s a reason it’ll be a month until we reassess things.”
Warriors Want ‘Fair’ Result From Trade Investigation
The Warriors have filed a complaint with the NBA against the Trail Blazers for not disclosing the injury during negotiations, which put Golden State in a really tough spot. Myers did not want to get into the details while speaking with the media.
“What do I want [from the investigation process]? Whatever the NBA says is fair,” Myers said Monday. “I just want a fair result.”
The NBA could punish Portland with a fine and loss of draft picks if an investigation discovered “a failure to disclose relevant information,” per ESPN.
Payton missed 35 games to start the year but had been playing through the pain in Portland. When making the deal, the Warriors did not have an inkling that he would have to miss a significant amount of time.
“We looked at the fact that he started the night before [the trade deadline] against our team… I didn’t factor in the thought that he’d be out as long as he will be,” Myers said.
Warriors Star Steph Curry Uncertain of Return Date
The Warriors moved to 29-28 after their victory on Monday against the Wizards and are looking to stay afloat with Curry on the shelf. The two-time MVP gave a quick update on his health prior to the matchup.
“This is different than the shoulder where it’s pretty predictable (and I) could get to a point where I could play and not reinjure it,” Curry said. “This one’s different because ligaments can heal on different type of timelines. There’s a window for each checkpoint. After the All-Star break, I want to hopefully get back on the court. Depending on how things go from there, I want to key in on a specific date.”
The Western Conference is a logjam and every game matters. The Warriors are currently in ninth place but are just 1.5 games back of the No. 4-seeded Phoenix Suns.
Curry conceded that he won’t be on the court against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Warriors’ first game out of the All-Star break, which is on February 23. However, he remains confident that his Golden State squad can make some noise once they get healthy.
“I know we’re a different team than we were, I know we have different challenges than we did last year but it still has been proven that if we’re healthy come playoff time and we have a shot to get into a series, that we’re a tough out,” Curry said. “That’s where all the optimism is until proven differently.”