The Wizards have signed veteran guard Gary Payton II to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. The move had been expected, with a Saturday report indicating that the two sides were closing in on an agreement.
Payton has spent the 2019/20 season so far playing for the South Bay Lakers, the Lakers’ G League affiliate. In 16 games (32.4 MPG) for the club, he averaged 21.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 6.8 APG, and a league-leading 3.2 SPG, making his case for a call-up.
The 27-year-old, the son of former SuperSonics star Gary Payton, has appeared in 32 total NBA regular season games, spending time with the Bucks, Lakers, and Wizards since the 2016/17 season.
The Wizards had a full 15-man roster before signing Payton, but didn’t need to make a corresponding move to open up a roster spot, since they qualified for a hardship exception.
The NBA can grant a team a hardship exception when that team has at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury or illness and are expected to miss at least two more weeks. A hardship exception allows the club to add an extra player to its 15-man roster, increasing its roster limit.