Warriors’ Gary Payton II Could Return Sunday

Warriors guard Gary Payton II has been making “good progress” in his recovery from a right adductor injury and has “intensified” his on-court activity over the past week. He’s expected to practice on Saturday, at which point his status will be determined for Sunday’s game against the Wolves, Golden State announced (via Twitter).

Payton has yet to play for the Warriors in 2022/23 after they acquired him in a trade just before last month’s deadline. He had started for the Trail Blazers the night before the deal, but the Warriors failed his physical, putting the trade in jeopardy. They ultimately went through with the deal after exploring their options for a few days.

The 30-year-old was slow to recover from offseason adductor surgery, as he didn’t make his debut with Portland until January, 36 games into the season. Once he returned, he only exceeded 20 minutes played three times, and missed an additional five contests.

Payton, who played a key role in helping the Warriors win the championship last year, signed a three-year, $26.1MM contract with the Blazers in free agency last summer. In 15 games this season (17.0 MPG), he averaged 4.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 1.1 SPG on .585/.529/1.000 shooting.

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