Needing to fill roster spots, the Warriors signed Gary Payton II to a 10-day contract on Thursday, and the son of NBA legend and Oakland native Gary Payton will be available for Friday's game against the Washington Wizards.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to the media after practice Thursday, and addressed the addition of Payton II and how he has been coveted by the organization for some time.
"He cleared the quarantine and practiced today and he will be available tomorrow," Kerr said. "I haven't seen a ton of him, but our scouts have shared a lot of their thoughts and our G League coaches competed against him in Orlando, so I know he is an excellent defender, smart, tough, someone that we've had our eye on as an organization for the last couple of years. So it's a great opportunity for him and it's a great opportunity for us to get him into our building and hopefully see him play, we'll see how it plays out."
"There's no secrets to what I do, I'm here to possibly guard the best player on the opposite team," Payton II told reporters. "So I'll do that and do what I do on the offensive side without the ball and try to make plays and just be as aggressive as much I can in this offense and just try to help out."
Payton II most recently competed with Raptors 905 in the G League bubble in Orlando, Fla., earning the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year award after averaging 2.5 steals per game to go along with 10.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 13 games.
The Oregon State product has bounced around between a number of NBA and G League franchises since going undrafted in 2016. Over 61 career NBA games spread across stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Wizards, Payton II has averaged 3.5 points and 2.3 rebounds.
The Warriors opened up a few roster spots at the NBA trade deadline by shipping out Marquese Chriss and Brad Wanamaker to the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets respectively.
It remains to be seen how he'll fit in with the Warriors' rotation, but Payton II will get six games to prove he is worthy of a second 10-day contract with the team.