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Warriors go through with four-team trade, acquiring Gary Payton II

Warriors go through with four-team trade, acquiring Gary Payton II

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have decided to go through with completion of a four-team trade to acquire Gary Payton II from Portland despite concerns that arose surrounding the guard’s health following offseason surgery for a core muscle injury that sidelined him until last month.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Sunday that the Warriors spoke to the NBA about how the Trail Blazers handled the deal and information about the medical situation for Payton, whose physical Friday brought up issues that put the trade in jeopardy. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no details of the negotiations and discussions were made public.

The defending champions had until Sunday night to make a decision whether to rescind the swap that sent center James Wiseman to Detroit. Golden State also will receive unprotected 2026 and ‘28 second-round draft picks from Portland while giving up Memphis’ 2026 second-round pick and its own 2028 second-round selection to Portland.

The Pistons traded forward Saddiq Bey to the Hawks and the Blazers acquire forward Kevin Knox II from the Detroit along with three conditional second-round picks from the Hawks.

The 30-year-old Payton played a key role as a defensive stopper for Golden State during last season’s title run and would immediately provide backcourt depth with Stephen Curry sidelined at least until after the All-Star break with a left leg injury.

Payton’s status for the rest of the season is unclear. He played against Golden State in a win Wednesday night at Portland before rejoining his former team ahead of the trade deadline a day later. Payton is averaging 4.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 15 games.

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said Friday that the team was confident Payton was healthy before agreeing to trade him to Golden State.

“He had been cleared and we were confident that he was healthy when he was playing,” Cronin said. “We would not have brought him back if we thought he wasn’t healthy or if he was at risk.”

Portland head coach Chauncey Billups agreed.

“We would never push a guy to play. Whether it’s medical or whether a guy just doesn’t feel like he can play that night — say he’s got a headache or say he’s just got a lot of stress at home, or say he has a death in the family,” Billups said. “I would never push somebody to play because I would always be scared of me doing that and then something actually happening.”

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