Gary Payton II to miss start of season, still recovering from abdominal surgery
Gary Payton II had the same surgery to repair a core muscle injury as his new teammate, Damian Lillard.
However, unlike Lillard, Payton will not be back and healthy for the start of the season, as initially hoped, the Trail Blazers announced. Instead, he will be re-evaluated in two weeks. For comparison, Nassir Little had a similar surgery in May but was not cleared to play until just a few weeks ago.
Payton played an important bench role for the Warriors on the way to their title last season, then parlayed that into a three-year, $26.1 million contract in Portland.
He’s part of a retooled Trail Blazers roster centered around Lillard, Jerami Grant, Anfrenee Simons, Jusuf Nurkic and Josh Hart, among others. Portland built a solid roster, but will that be enough in a very deep West?