Warriors Make Next Move in Gary Payton Trade Saga

Gary Payton II

Getty Gary Payton II of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Golden State Warriors have filed a complaint with the NBA against the Portland Trail Blazers over their trade for Gary Payton II.

The complaint alleges that the Blazers misled the Warriors during the trade negotiations, not disclosing a serious injury that Payton was playing through. Shams Charnia of The Athletic first reported that the complaint had been filed with the league.

“The NBA has received a complaint from the Golden State Warriors against the Portland Trail Blazers and the league has launched a review of potential misleading by the Blazers regarding Gary Payton II’s status,” Charania tweeted.

The NBA could punish Portland with a fine and loss of draft picks if an investigation were to discover “a failure to disclose relevant information,” per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The trade cannot be changed due to the deadline passing.

Payton failed his physical on Friday, which has put the massive four-team trade on hold. Payton is dealing with a core muscle issue that could sideline him for up to three months.

The injury was known about by the Blazers, per The Atheltic, and Payton — who signed a three-year, $26 million deal this offseason — was being told to push through the pain. They did not let the Warriors know about the injury during negotiations.

“Payton, according to sources, had been playing through pain in Portland,” The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported. “Sources added that the Blazers training staff had been pushing him to gut through it, giving him Toradol shots. This had not been relayed to the Warriors during the negotiation process.”

Blazers & Payton Rep Dispute Reports of Playing Through Injury

The agent for Payton spoke with Chris Haynes of Turner Sports and disputed that report, saying that Payton never took Toradol to play through the pain.

Aaron Goodwin — the agent of Gary Payton II — tells NBA on TNT and Bleacher Report that ‘despite of what’s being reported, my client never took Toradol shots to be available for games during his time in Portland.'”

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin also disputed that they were making Payton play through the pain.

“Player safety is super important to us,” Cronin said. “I mean, it’s a super important thing around the league. We were playing him. He was playing and he had been cleared and we were confident that he was healthy when he was playing. We would not have brought him back if we thought he wasn’t healthy or if he was at risk.

“So, you trust that we did the right thing, we trust that our process was correct, and these reports, I think … the clearance process was proper, so I’ll have to rely on that.”

Warriors Have to Make Final Call by Sunday Night

The Warriors traded for Payton ahead of the deadline as part of a four-team deal with the Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks. The Pistons received former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, the Trail Blazers got Kevin Knox (via Pistons) and five future second-round picks (via Hawks) and Atlanta picked up Saddiq Bey.

The Warriors will have to make the final call on the trade by Sunday night. If they decide to void the trade, all of those pieces would go back to their original teams, causing some potentially awkward situations.

“There’s a lot of things that would make undoing this deal pretty awkward,” Anthony Slater of the Athletic said during an interview on 95.7 The Game’s Damon & Ratto. “If they decide they’re best course of action is to rescind the deal, it’d be awkward. But sports are sports. You get paid what you get paid. It could happen. It’s post-deadline so there would be an awkwardness to it. But if it has to happen, it has to happen.”

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