After the NBA trade deadline, the Golden State Warriors roster looked almost the same. However, they did make one change – they dealt James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons in a four-team deal that saw them land Gary Payton II. However, that trade was quickly put in jeopardy when Payton failed his physical.
There was some talk as to whether or not Golden State would choose to rescind the deal. However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they have officially chosen to let the deal go through.
“The four-team trade involving Golden State, Portland, Atlanta and Detroit has been completed, sources tell ESPN. Players are cleared to start playing for new teams on Monday,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
As for the rest of the trade, Saddiq Bey was sent to the Atlanta Hawks, and the Warriors delivered five second-round picks to the Portland Trail Blazers. If they had chosen to rescind the trade, all players involved would have had to go back to their original teams.
Instead, they will now have Payton back on the roster. The veteran guard enjoyed a breakout season last year and helped the Warriors win their fourth NBA Championship in eight seasons. Despite his injury, he will undoubtedly be an important piece for them later on in the season.
Payton only appeared in 15 games for the Trail Blazers this season, as he was dealing with an injury for the majority of the year. Now, he’ll have to continue his rehab process before he returns to the court for the Warriors.
Meanwhile, Wiseman will get a chance to thrive in a new situation. The young big man was unable to break through and earn a regular rotation spot in Golden State, but on a rebuilding Pistons team, he’ll surely earn more opportunities.
Trail Blazers Respond to Gary Payton II Accusations
The drama surrounding the Payton trade surfaced after his failed physical, and reports indicated that Portland didn’t relay the necessary injury information to Golden State. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported as much when the news broke.
“Payton, according to sources, had been playing through pain in Portland,” Slater wrote. “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.”
However, Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin denied the accusations, claiming that Portland did everything by the books.
“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.”
Draymond Green Sounds Off on James Wiseman
As for Wiseman, Draymond Green sent a message to the youngster after it was reported that he was being traded.
“Number one, I want to say, to James Wiseman, man, Jimmy Wise, not an ideal start to your NBA career,” Green said on his podcast, The Draymond Green Show. “I mean, not ideal at all. Being moved to the Detroit Pistons gives James an opportunity to restart that. And I think that’s such a beautiful thing. I feel like in this trade, James Wiseman gets what he needs, the Warriors got what they need. James Wiseman needs to go somewhere where he can play, where he can get minutes and reps, and he’s not expected to compete at a championship level. And he did that. Or, they did that – it’s happening for him in going to Detroit, where you’re with a bunch of other young guys who [are] going to make a ton of mistakes. And you just get to play through those mistakes and learn through those mistakes, because as we know, in life, experience is life’s greatest teacher. So for James Wiseman to go to a situation where he will have the opportunity to play and play through mistakes. It’s great for him, because he’s super talented, super skilled, but just [hasn’t] had the reps.”