Warriors Sign Son of Hall of Famer to Back up Steph Curry

Warriors Sign Son of Hall of Famer to Back up Steph Curry
Gary Payton II


Gary Payton II brings the ball up the court in a game against the New York Knicks.

The Golden State Warriors are bringing in some defensive help behind Steph Curry, and adding another member to the team’s ever-growing second generation club.

The team announced on Thursday that former Washington Wizards guard and NBA G League standout Gary Payton II had signed a 10-day contract with the team. As NBC Sports Bay Area reported, he had most recently played for Raptors 905, averaging 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals in 13 games this season — good enough to earn G League Defensive Player of the Year honors.

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Payton’s Role With Warriors

Payton will fill one of the two roster spots that Golden State opened by dealing reserves at the recently passed trade deadline, though his role with the team is not yet clear. As NBA reporter Grant Liffman noted, there does not appear to much room in an already tight rotation for Payton to get minutes. The team has already committed to giving developmental time to rookie guard Nico Mannion, and second-year guard Jordan Poole has jumped up in the rotation with stellar play late in the season.

“I know there is a lot of intrigue about the Gary Payton II signing, but I highly doubt any player that is joining the Warriors on a 10-day contract right now will find much time in the rotation,” Liffman tweeted. “He can bring defensive and playmaking depth, but this is more procedural most likely.”

Payton will add depth at what could be a critical time, with Curry coming off an absence due to a bruised tailbone and the team teetering at the edge of the playoff race. This week’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks brought the Warriors up to 24-27, good for 10th place in the Western Conference and the final spot in the play-in tournament.

He is expected to join the team quickly. Though there had been no public indications that the Warriors were looking to sign Payton, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that the team had been putting the pieces together behind the scenes, already going through the mandated steps to have him COVID-19 tested.

As NBC Sports Bay Area noted, Payton will be under contract through next Saturday, at which point the team would either offer him another 10-day deal or let him go.

Payton Gives Dubs Another Second Generation Baller

The son of Seattle SuperSonics great Gary Payton will join a number of other Warriors teammates with family ties to the NBA. He will be the fourth player on the team with a father who played in the NBA, joining Curry, Mannion, and Klay Thompson.

Payton has followed in his father’s footsteps in a number of ways, especially his focus on the defensive side and the four years he spent at Oregon State, his dad’s alma mater. In his senior season at Oregon State, Payton II insisted that he wasn’t trying to copy his father’s basketball path.

“We’re completely different players. I didn’t come to Oregon State just to try to replicate what he did,” Payton II said, via Bleacher Report.

“I’ve always just tried to make my own name.”

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