Guard Gary Payton II traded back to Warriors from Blazers

SAN FRANCSICO (AP) — A day after leading Portland past his former Golden State team, Gary Payton II rejoined the defending champion Warriors to give them a boost down the stretch after being traded by the Trail Blazers.

The Warriors announced the move Thursday night as part of a four-team trade that sent center James Wiseman to Detroit. Golden State also will receive unprotected 2026 and ’28 second-round draft picks from Portland while giving up Memphis’ 2026 second-round pick and its own 2028 second-round selection to Portland.

The Pistons traded forward Saddiq Bey to the Hawks and the Blazers acquire forward Kevin Knox II from the Detroit along with three conditional second-round picks from the Hawks.

The 30-year-old Payton played a key role as a defensive stopper for Golden State during last season’s title run and will immediately provide backcourt depth with Stephen Curry sidelined at least until after the All-Star break with a left leg injury.

Payton scored nine points in 22 minutes of Portland’s 125-122 home win against the Warriors on Wednesday night. Golden State’s next game is Saturday against the Lakers at Chase Center, where Payton received his championship ring on Dec. 30 but didn’t play as he recovered from offseason surgery for a core muscle injury.

While Payton reached a $28 million, three-year contract last summer to join the Blazers he didn’t make his Portland debut until last month.

He returned from a broken elbow to contribute in the NBA Finals against Boston that the Warriors won in six games. Payton was injured when Grizzlies star Dillon Brooks committed a hard foul across Payton’s head on a layup attempt during the second round and sent the Golden State guard awkwardly to the floor at Memphis on May 3.

Last season marked his first with regular playing time. Payton averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds over a career-high 71 games. In addition Payton’s efforts off the court helped make him a fan favorite and he received the NBA’s Bob Lanier Community Assist Award on May 31 for his work supporting dyslexic children and pushing for early assessment.

The second overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Memphis, Wiseman injured his right knee as a rookie then missed all of last season recovering. He was averaging 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds playing 12.5 minutes over 21 games this season while also contributing for the G League team.

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