When the Golden State Warriors signed Gary Payton II to a 10-day contract, the NBA veteran was joining his fourth different NBA team.
That said, the undrafted player from Oregon State has made the most of his quick trial run with the Warriors.
In six games for the team, Payton has averaged 2.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.8 steals per game. His production has come in just 3.2 minutes per game and when he has been on the floor for prolonged stretches, he has looked good.
Against the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 14, Payton notched 10 points, three boards, and a whopping four steals in just under 10 minutes of action. After the game, he drew praise from Steve Kerr from his defensive effort.
“He was fantastic," Steve Kerr said, per NBC Sports Bay Area's Drew Shiller. "My assistant coaches have been telling me when we put him in, we’re not going to want to take him out because of his defense. Now I see it.
Payton II followed that game up with a strong stretch against the Boston Celtics three days later. Payton posted a plus-4 rating in 7:27 of action in a back-and-forth game, and his defense on Kemba Walker helped to stem a Celtics run and get the Warriors back in the game.
Thanks to Payton's strong effort on the defensive side of the ball, the Warriors made the decision to bring Payton back on a second 10-day contract.
Payton definitely deserves a chance to remain with the Warriors, and if he continues to defend well, he may have a chance to earn a spot on the team long-term as a depth defender at the point.
The former Beaver certainly can play a role at the NBA level. Now, he'll look to earn a two-way deal or full-time roster spot by the end of his second 10-day contract.