The Golden State Warriors will not pursue a grievance against the Portland Trail Blazers in regards to the Gary Payton II trade, the Blazers announced in a statement Saturday. Payton, who is recovering from an abdominal injury, played just 15 games for the Blazers due to an abdominal injury before getting traded to Golden State at the deadline.
When the trade was made at the deadline, the Warriors filed a complaint against the Blazers alleging that Portland misled them about the severity of Payton’s injury, which required surgery last offseason. It was initially reported that Payton was taking Toradol injections to manage the pain as he played through the injury, though his agent, Aaron Goodwin, would go on to deny those claims. The Warriors ultimately decided to complete the trade, and Payton is expected to return to the Warriors soon after missing the past six weeks or so since the deal. Had the NBA found any violations of its policy in what Portland reported to Golden State during the trade process, the Blazers could have been fined or docked draft picks.
Payton was a key member of last season’s Golden State championship run. He was their best perimeter defender and a stellar screener and cutter. His 3-point shot had largely kept him off the court for most of his career, but he made 35.8% of his attempts for the Warriors last season.
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Golden State has struggled mightily defensively this season, ranking 18th in the league thus far. Their inability to stop opposing guards has been at the center of those struggles, but getting Payton back will be their best chance to correct those issues. Now that the Warriors are dropping their grievance, both teams can put this issue behind them and the Warriors can focus on defending their championship.