Gary Payton II finalizing deal with Portland Trail Blazers; 3-year, $28M deal, sources say

Gary Payton II leaving Warriors to sign three-year, $28 million deal with Blazers, per report

The Portland Trail Blazers are signing former Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II to a three-year, $28 million deal, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Payton's payday is well earned after he was one of the breakout players of the 2021-22 season. After spending the bulk of his career on 10-day contracts and in the G-League

The fit, on paper, is quite good. Payton is obviously familiar with that region of the country as his father, Gary Payton, was once a star for the Seattle Supersonics.

Both Paytons played collegiately at Oregon State and now the younger Payton will return to Oregon to join a Blazers team trying to build a contender around Damian Lillard.

What Lillard's teams have largely lacked has been defense. For years they've ranked near the bottom of the league on that end of the floor, but with Payton joining fellow newcomer Jerami Grant and midseason addition Josh Hart

Meanwhile, Golden State just lost its best perimeter defender. The Warriors used to rely on Klay Thompson to chase the best opposing scorer on the other team around the floor

Now, the Warriors will have to either find a replacement or hope one of their younger players can step into that role.