A day after leading Portland past his former Golden State team, Gary Payton II is rejoining the defending champion Warriors as part of a three-team trade by the Blazers on Thursday.
The Blazers will receive forward Kevin Knox II via the Detroit Pistons and five future second round picks, Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin announced. As part of the trade, Detroit acquired center James Wiseman in a move that sent forward Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks.
It was the Blazers’ second deal as the trade deadline approached as they traded forward Josh Hart to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish and a protected first-round draft pick on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old Payton, a former Oregon State standout, played a key role as a defensive stopper for Golden State during last season’s title run and will immediately provide backcourt depth with Stephen Curry sidelined at least until after the All-Star break with a left leg injury.
Payton scored nine points in 22 minutes of Portland’s 125-122 home win against the Warriors on Wednesday night. Golden State’s next game is Saturday against the Lakers at Chase Center, where Payton received his championship ring on Dec. 30 but didn’t play as he recovered from offseason surgery for a core muscle injury.
While Payton reached a $28 million, three-year contract last summer to join the Blazers he didn’t make his Portland debut until last month.
He returned from a broken elbow to contribute in the NBA Finals against Boston that the Warriors won in six games. Payton was injured when Grizzlies star Dillon Brooks committed a hard foul across Payton’s head on a layup attempt during the second round and sent the Golden State guard awkwardly to the floor at Memphis on May 3.
Last season marked his first with regular playing time. Payton averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds over a career-high 71 games.
In addition Payton’s efforts off the court helped make him a fan favorite and he received the NBA’s Bob Lanier Community Assist Award on May 31 for his work supporting dyslexic children and pushing for early assessment.