The Golden State Warriors just lost one of their most beloved stars in NBA free agency.
Gary Payton II was just signed to the Portland Trail Blazers with a three-year, $28 million deal.
Payton was an important part of the Warriors during their latest season and their successful Finals run.
Therefore, it was surprising to see him get sent away right after such a great season.
Just a few weeks ago, the Warriors suggested that they were planning to run it back with the same team they had last season so what gives?
Warriors were unwilling to meet that high of a price tag (and resulting tax spike) for Gary Payton II and have now lost their defensive ace off the bench to the Blazers. He led the NBA in steals per 36 minutes last season. https://t.co/iaY6xmUrG7
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 1, 2022
Anthony Slater dug deep into the matter and found out that the Warriors were unwilling to meet the hefty price tag and the taxes tied to it.
As expected, it all came down to money.
What The Warriors Lose
Payton has made a name for himself as a very versatile defense who can also land some serious shots too.
Golden State will certainly miss his skills in those departments but they have other guys who will hopefully step up and fill the void.
Obviously they have more than a few guys who can sink shots and their defense will likely get stronger next year when James Wiseman returns from a year-long absence.
So when you look at it that way, the loss of Payton doesn’t sting as much.
He will also probably find more to do in Portland, who is desperate for help in, frankly, just about every way.
Payton was a bench player at Golden State and only started 16 games but he will probably be called upon much more often in Portland.
Fans of Payton should prepare to see a lot more of him next season.