Gary Payton II

Warriors Adding Jordan Bell To Camp Roster

The Warriors are bringing back big man Jordan Bell for training camp, according to Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated (Twitter link). The addition of Bell – along with the reported deals for Langston Galloway and Avery Bradley – will bring Golden State’s roster to the preseason maximum of 20 players.

Bell, 26, began his career in Golden State after being selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He was part of the rotation for his first two professional seasons and won a title with the team in 2018, but departed in free agency in 2019 and has bounced around a little since then, playing for the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Wizards before returning to the Dubs during the last week of the 2020/21 campaign.

In 160 total regular season games, Bell has averaged 3.7 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 12.1 minutes per contest. It looked as recently as last weekend as if he might be headed overseas for the 2021/22 season, but he’ll at least get a chance to make an NBA roster this fall.

Although Bell will be in the mix for Golden State’s 15th roster spot for the regular season, he’s probably the least likely of the five candidates to make the team, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who suggests the Warriors are more likely to keep someone from a group of guards that includes Gary Payton II, Mychal Mulder, Galloway, and Bradley. Slater identified Payton and Bradley as the favorites, given their talents on defense.

Bell is also ineligible for a two-way contract, so if he doesn’t make the Warriors’ regular season roster and doesn’t catch on with another NBA team, he may have to turn to the G League or an international league.

Warriors, Gary Payton II Push Back Salary Guarantee Date

The Warriors and guard Gary Payton II reached an agreement this week to push back his salary guarantee date, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Payton had originally been on track to receive a $659K partial guarantee on his $1.98MM salary for the 2021/22 season if he remained on the roster through Wednesday. However, the Warriors were considered likely to waive him before that deadline.

Rather than passing through waivers and possibly signing a new non-guaranteed contract with Golden State, Payton agreed to move his guarantee deadline to the start of the regular season, per Slater. He’ll have to make the Warriors’ opening night roster to earn his guarantee.

Payton, 28, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Warriors in the second half of the 2020/21 season, then returned to the team on a multiyear deal on the final day of the regular season. He averaged 2.5 PPG and 1.1 RPG in 10 games (4.0 MPG).

The Warriors’ lack of reliable point guard depth behind Stephen Curry gives Payton a possible path to a roster spot. As Slater notes, the team could use his versatility and ability to pressure the ball on defense. Currently, Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with Payton, Damion Lee, and Mychal Mulder on non-guaranteed deals.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Armstrong, Paul, Anthony

A $659K contract guarantee kicks in Wednesday for Gary Payton II, which may affect the Warriors‘ decision to keep him on the roster, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. There’s an expectation that Golden State will release Payton with the hope of re-signing him if he clears waivers, Slater adds. That would give him a chance to win a roster spot in camp on a non-guaranteed deal.

Payton finished last season with the Warriors, appearing in 10 games after signing a pair of 10-day contracts in April. Slater points out that the team could use a defensive specialist like Payton to make up for the losses of Kelly Oubre and Kent Bazemore.

Golden State’s roster will be nearly set heading into camp, Slater notes. Thirteen players have guaranteed contracts and a large part of Damion Lee‘s deal will become guaranteed if he remains with the team through August 15, which is expected. Payton may wind up competing for the final roster spot with Mychal Mulder, whose contract is non-guaranteed. A source told Slater that the Warriors are “still monitoring” the free agent market in hopes of adding another veteran.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Former NBA center Hilton Armstrong has joined the Warriors‘ coaching staff, Slater adds. He will work in the video department and has been involved with the Summer League team in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
  • Suns guard Chris Paul should be healed in plenty of time for training camp after having surgery on his left wrist after the NBA Finals, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic“For Chris, it was something minor,” general manager James Jones said in an ESPN interview. “He’ll be ready in a couple of weeks to get back out on the court with these guys as we start to try to get back after this short offseason.”  
  • Carmelo Anthony is thrilled to finally team up with his long-time friend LeBron James on the Lakers, per Mark Medina of USA Today. They have both been in the league for 18 years, but are teammates for the first time after Anthony agreed to a one-year contract with L.A. “Most people would say you should’ve gotten together years ago or earlier in our careers. But we were in two different lanes,” Anthony said. “We were in two different paths. Everything comes full circle.”

Warriors Re-Sign Gary Payton II

MAY 16: The Warriors have officially announced Payton’s new contract ahead of today’s regular season finale.

MAY 13: The Warriors plan to bring back Gary Payton II on a new deal this weekend, sources tell Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter links). Payton previously inked a pair of 10-day contracts with the team.

Payton, 28, got into 10 games for the Warriors during his 20 days with the organization. He only logged 40 total minutes in those 10 contests, but made the most of them, putting up 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 11 rebounds and six steals. Head coach Steve Kerr said at the time that the team wasn’t ruling out re-signing Payton before the end of the season.

“Gary played really well,” Kerr said in April. “He’s somebody who we feel like we’d love to have back. He’s got to consider his own options as well. So, we’ll see how it works out.”

Payton, the son of Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton, earned G League Defensive Player of the Year honors with the Raptors 905 earlier this year. He’ll provide depth in the backcourt for the Warriors as they prepare for the play-in tournament next week.

According to Slater (via Twitter), there’s an expectation that Payton’s new contract will extend beyond this season, though it’s unclear if any of next year’s money will be guaranteed. The terms are still being finalized, Slater adds.

Golden State currently just has 13 players on its standard 15-man roster, but is promoting two-way player Juan Toscano-Anderson to fill one of those spots — Payton would take the other, while Jordan Bell will be signed to a new two-way deal, giving the club a full 17-man squad.

Warriors Won’t Re-Sign Gary Payton II Right Away

Gary Payton II will be a free agent again when his 10-day contract with the Warriors expires tonight, and the team is still deciding on its next move, according to Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Golden State has already signed Payton to a pair of 10-day deals, which is the limit for a season, so it would have to give him a contract through the end of the season to keep him on the roster. That’s still a possibility, but it won’t happen right away.

“Gary practiced today, but he will not go on the trip,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We are exploring our options as we wind down the season. There’s a chance that we would bring him back. That’s the hope. But we have some things to consider. The front office is going through their process and we’ll see how it plays out.”

One thing the Warriors will consider is Payton’s effect on the luxury tax, points out Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Once Payton’s contract expires, Golden State will be down to 13 players plus a pair of two-way deals. The team will have 14 days to add a player to get back to the league minimum.

Payton, 28, got into 10 games for the Warriors during his 20 days with the team. He averaged 2.5 points per game in just 4.0 minutes per night and had a team best defensive rating of 101.1.

“Gary played really well,” Kerr said. “He’s somebody who we feel like we’d love to have back. He’s got to consider his own options as well. So, we’ll see how it works out.”

Warriors Give Gary Payton II Another 10-Day Contract

APRIL 19: The Warriors have officially re-signed Payton, per a team tweet.

APRIL 18: Gary Payton II will sign a second 10-day contract with the Warriors, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

The versatile guard appeared in five games during his first 10-day deal, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 3.6 minutes per night. He was effective in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics, Slater notes, displaying his defensive skills in seven minutes of action.

Payton, 28, has logged brief stays with four teams in a five-year NBA career. He has also spent extensive time in the G League and was named Defensive Player of the Year during the league’s abbreviated season in Orlando.

Payton will earn $118,983 during his second 10-day contract. If it’s finalized today, it will expire April 27, and the Warriors would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they want to keep him on the roster beyond that.

Warriors Sign Gary Payton II To 10-Day Deal

5:40pm: Golden State has officially signed Payton, the club confirmed in a press release.

10:45am: The Warriors are signing free agent guard Gary Payton II to a 10-day contract, according to Marcus Thompson and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Payton, the son of former SuperSonics guard – and Hall-of-Famer – Gary Payton, hasn’t played in the NBA yet this season, but had a strong showing in the G League with the Raptors 905. The 28-year-old averaged 10.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.5 SPG on 55.5% shooting in 13 games and earned a spot on the NBAGL All-Defensive team, despite a somewhat limited role (21.8 MPG).

Payton, who has appeared in a total of 61 NBA regular season games for three teams, spent part of the 2019/20 season with the Wizards, averaging 3.9 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 29 contests (14.9 MPG). He’ll earn $118,983 on his new 10-day contract, while the Warriors will take a cap hit of $110,998. The franchise will also see its year-end tax bill increase as a result of the signing.

The Warriors dipped down below the league’s required minimum of 14 players on standard contracts at the trade deadline. Because the NBA only allows teams to remain below that minimum for up to two weeks at a time, Golden State had to add another player to its roster by today.

Payton is expected to be available for the Warriors at practice on Thursday and for Friday’s game vs. Washington, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says the guard had been undergoing COVID-19 tests in anticipation of the deal.

NBA G League Announces 2020/21 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year on Monday, Delaware Blue Coats forward Paul Reed – who is on a two-way contract with the Sixers – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Reed was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by MVP runner-up Kevin Porter Jr. of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, as well as Oklahoma City Blue big man Moses Brown, Lakeland Magic forward Mamadi Diakite, and Westchester Knicks guard Jared Harper. All of those players are currently on either standard NBA contracts or two-way deals.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently under contract with NBA teams or have past NBA experience.

The complete list of the 2020/21 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Jared Harper (Westchester Knicks) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Malachi Flynn (Raptors 905) *
  • Brodric Thomas (Canton Charge) ^
  • KJ Martin (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) *

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

  • Paul Reed (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Moses Brown (Oklahoma City Blue) ^
  • Mamadi Diakite (Lakeland Magic) ^
  • Tahjere McCall (Lakeland Magic)
  • Gary Payton II (Raptors 905)

Of the 18 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Brissett, Uthoff, McCall, and Payton – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’20/21 season began. All four of them have previous NBA experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: MVP Race, Trade Assets, Payton II, Morris

Injuries expected to sideline LeBron James and Joel Embiid for multiple weeks have shaken up the chase for the Most Valuable Player award. Nikola Jokic is now the frontrunner to win the wide-open race for the award, according to Chris Sheridan of Basketball News. Betting sites FanDuel, Draft Kings, BetMGM and have made the Nuggets’ All-Star big man the favorite.

We have more tidbits from around the basketball world:

  • The Thunder possess a boatload of first-round picks, some veterans with trade appeal and plenty of trade exceptions. That’s why Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report ranks Oklahoma City No. 1 in terms of trade assets. Pincus lists each team by the value of its trade assets.
  • Raptors 905 guard Gary Payton II has been named the G League Defensive Player of the Year, according to a G League press release. The league’s head coaches and GMs voted on the award. Payton II led the league in steals per game (2.54), including nine games with two or more steals.
  • Nuggets guard Monte Morris has committed to the Nigeria national team for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweets. Mike Brown will coach the team, which also includes NBA players Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu and Ekpe Udoh.

2020/21 NBA G League Draft Results

The NBA G League held its draft for the 2020/21 season on Monday afternoon.

In a typical year, the G League draft lasts four rounds and teams are only required to make two selections. However, this year’s draft was just three rounds and teams weren’t required to make any picks.

Because only 17 of 28 NBA G League affiliates (plus the G League Ignite) are participating in the revamped season at Walt Disney World in Florida, and because teams aren’t permitted to bring extra players to training camp for health and safety reasons, roster spots will be at a premium in the NBAGL this season, and the draft reflected that. Only 25 players were selected.

With the first overall pick, the Greensboro Swarm – the Hornets‘ affiliate – nabbed former Wizard Admiral Schofield. The 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Schofield averaged 3.0 PPG and 1.4 RPG in 33 games (11.2 MPG) as a rookie before being traded to the Thunder during the offseason. Oklahoma City waived him last month.

With the second overall pick, which they acquired in a trade earlier in the day, the Memphis Hustle selected former Baylor standout Freddie Gillespie, who had been in camp with the Mavericks. Gillespie recently spoke to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors about his desire to make it to the NBA and his plans to begin his professional career in the G League. He’s now in position to suit up for the Grizzlies‘ affiliate.

Here are the full 2020/21 G League draft results:

Round One:

  1. Greensboro Swarm (Hornets): Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
  2. Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Freddie Gillespie (Baylor)
  3. Canton Charge (Cavaliers): Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
  4. Iowa Wolves (Timberwolves): Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
  5. Lakeland Magic (Magic):  Tahjere McCall (Tennessee State)
  6. Canton Charge: Anthony Lamb (Vermont)
  7. Oklahoma City Blue (Thunder): Zavier Simpson (Michigan)
  8. Lakeland Magic: DJ Hogg (Texas A&M)
  9. Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Justin Patton (Creighton)
  10. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Rockets): Armoni Brooks (Houston)
  11. Raptors 905 (Raptors): Kevon Harris (Stephen F. Austin)
  12. Rio Grande Valley Vipers: Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati)
  13. Oklahoma City Blue: Vince Edwards (Purdue)
  14. Austin Spurs (Spurs): Jonathan Kasibabu (Fairfield)
  15. Raptors 905: Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
  16. Memphis Hustle: Anthony Cowan Jr. (Maryland)
  17. Iowa Wolves: Dakarai Tucker (Utah)
  18. Salt Lake City Stars (Jazz): No pick
  19. N/A

Round Two:

  1. Delaware Blue Coats (Sixers): Jemerrio Jones (New Mexico State)
  2. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers): Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Iowa Wolves: No pick
  5. Long Island Nets (Nets): No pick
  6. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  7. Fort Wayne Mad Ants: Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall)
  8. Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers): No pick
  9. Santa Cruz Warriors (Warriors): Selom Mawugbe (Azusa Pacific)
  10. Raptors 905: No pick
  11. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  12. Austin Spurs: Anthony Mathis (Oregon)
  13. Erie BayHawks (Pelicans): No pick
  14. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  15. Austin Spurs: Kaleb Johnson (Georgetown)
  16. Santa Cruz Warriors: No pick
  17. Memphis Hustle: No pick
  18. Oklahoma City Blue: Rob Edwards (Arizona State)
  19. Salt Lake City Stars: No pick

Round Three:

  1. Greensboro Swarm: No pick
  2. Erie BayHawks: No pick
  3. Westchester Knicks: No pick
  4. Delaware Blue Coats: Braxton Key (Virginia)
  5. No picks from 43-57

The teams that didn’t make any picks will fill their rosters with affiliate players and returning rights players, meaning they didn’t need to draft anyone and/or didn’t have the open spots to do so.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN and Blake Murphy of The Athletic noted (via Twitter), NBAGL teams overwhelmingly opted for youth, passing on most of the notable veteran NBA players in the draft pool. That group included Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson, Emeka Okafor, and Shabazz Muhammad, among others.

Former Nets first-rounder Dzanan Musa removed his name from the draft pool before the event began, per Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).