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#pounditWednesday, September 27, 2023

Rival team emerges as suitor to sign Warriors’ Gary Payton II

Gary Payton holds a ball

Apr 10, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (0) during warmups before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II has an option on the table if he wants to take the ring and run.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported Monday that the Dallas Mavericks are considered to be among the most serious suitors for the unrestricted free agent Payton this offseason. Slater notes however that the Warriors are still seen as the favorites to re-sign Payton, who loves the team and the Bay Area.

Payton, 29, is a defensive sparkplug who blows up opposing possessions and finds creative ways to score around the rim on the other end (in addition to the occasional three-pointer, which he hits at a 35.8 percent clip). But he does have some ties to Texas, having began his pro career with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (G League affiliate of the Houston Rockets) and spending three separate stints with them.

The Warriors would obviously love to keep Payton after he helped them to the NBA title. But they also have other important free agents such as Kevon Looney and Otto Porter Jr. to re-sign. The Mavericks could have some cap space to lob Payton’s way, especially if this notable guard ends up leaving.


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