The Golden State Warriors made a pivotal move at the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline. They were part of a four-team trade that saw James Wiseman be dealt to the Detroit Pistons. In return, the Dubs brought back old friend Gary Payton II. Payton’s inclusion in the deal threw a bit of a wrench into things. He failed his physical, causing the trade to be put on hold. Eventually, the Warriors elected to move forward with the deal Sunday night.
Golden State played their first game since the deal went through, when they hosted the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Prior to the game, Head Coach Steve Kerr was asked about the move that sent Wiseman away from the Warriors.
“It’s hard on a personal level, because of our affection for James, and the talent level. I was all-in on taking James when we did, I was part of the group, and loved the ability, loved everything we saw,” Kerr said via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “You can’t always foresee the circumstances. At the time we had the worst record in the league, Klay had just torn his Achilles. We didn’t really know where we were as a team. Frankly, we didn’t know we would win a championship just a year and a half later. I think the important thing… is in this league, and in all sports, you have to move forward you can’t look back. You have to move forward and make whatever moves that are necessary to allow you to succeed in the present state of the team and going forward”
Steve Kerr Couldn’t Give Wiseman ‘The Runway’ He Needed
When Kerr was asked why he thought Wiseman didn’t work out with the Warriors, he cited the fit, but, again had high praise for the young center.
“Everybody here loved James, that’s been a common theme, just our affection for him because of what a hard worker he is, what a great young man he is, just how much he wants it, how committed he is, what he’s been through with all the injuries,” he explained via Slater. “But, I think between the injuries and the inexperience, coming to a team like ours that’s fighting for championships, playing with a group that’s been together for a long time. It was just difficult for me to give James the runway that he needed. He was great every single day when he came to work he had a great attitude and a positive spirit. He’s everything you look for in a young player in terms of his approach and his talent. But, the timing was difficult just given what he needed and where we are as a franchise. I think this will be good for him, to hopefully get a chance to play, make the mistakes he needs to make, and have a runway, and grow and develop into the player he can become. He’s got a lot of ability, and we know he’ll work for it.”
Steve Kerr Gives Update on Gary Payton II
During his pregame press conference, Kerr also gave an update on Payton’s injury.
He explained that the guard has only been able to rehab and hasn’t been able to get on the court.
“Rehab. It’s all rehab. He isn’t on the court,” he said via Slater. “There’s a reason it’ll be a month until we reassess things.”