The Warriors bolstered their defense by adding a familiar face prior to the NBA's Feb. 9 trade deadline. The only problem is, the impact won't be felt for quite some time.
Golden State acquired guard Gary Payton II from the Portland Trail Blazers in a four-team trade prior to the deadline. After Payton failed his physical with the Warriors, the entire trade was put in jeopardy before Golden State eventually accepted the trade three days later.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr joined 95.7 The Game's "Damon & Ratto" on Thursday, where he was asked about his initial reaction to the news of Payton's failed physical.
"Yeah, disappointing, obviously," Kerr said. "I mean, we were excited about Gary's addition. We know what he did for us last year and we needed immediate help. We needed a boost at the deadline, and that was one of the reasons for the deal. So finding out that he was going to be out for a while was frustrating, but that's the way it goes.
"That's what it is. So we got to find a way to keep moving forward and hopefully get him back at the end of the year."
Payton, who has a core muscle injury, will be re-evaluated in a month. For Kerr and the Warriors, it's onward and upward.
"You go through this stuff, and every year something different happens," Kerr explained. "Players are injured, players are traded and stuff happens. One year we had the worst record in the league, last year we won the championship. It's just life, stuff happens. So I don't spend my time throwing stuff against the wall and lamenting things, and we just keep moving forward. You just keep dealing with what is happening right now."
As frustrating as the news was for Kerr, it pales in comparison to the headache it gave Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers.
"This is why I like being a coach better than being a general manager," Kerr added. "You know, as a coach, you just deal with what's right in front of you. As a general manager, you've got all kinds of stuff like that to deal with, and I know Bob has talked about it and Bob is limited in what he can say. And so am I, so we are where we are."
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Although the Warriors will be without their defensive stalwart for at least the next month, Payton's potential return before the end of the regular season or in the playoffs should provide Golden State with a much-needed boost.