NBA

NBA trade deadline: Payton II returns to Warriors as Wiseman experiment runs out of time

By Sports Desk February 09, 2023

Gary Payton II is heading back to the Golden State Warriors less than a year after departing the reigning NBA champions, according to ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The guard signed with the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent during the offseason after helping the Warriors win their fourth championship in the space of eight years.

However, Payton was sidelined for several months after undergoing core muscle surgery and did not make his Blazers debut until their 135-106 win over the Detroit Pistons last month.

But the 30-year-old was reportedly traded back to the Warriors on a hectic trade deadline day, with the Blazers receiving five future second-round picks.

Kevin Knox was also traded to the Warriors as part of a three-team trade with the Pistons, who received James Wiseman in the opposite direction while also trading Saddiq Bey to the Atlanta Hawks.

Wiseman, the second overall pick from the 2020 NBA Draft, had bounced between the Warriors' active roster and their G League affiliate, but he could not justify the luxury tax expenses that would have been associated with retaining him on the roster. According to The Athletic's John Hollinger, the Warriors will save a combined $51million in salary and luxury tax this season, and $85m next season by cutting their losses.

Elsewhere, the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics bolstered their three-point shooting and depth after agreeing a trade with Oklahoma City Thunder for 10-year NBA veteran Mike Muscala.

According to The Athletic, the Thunder will receive Justin Jackson and two future second-round picks as part of the deal.

There has also been activity involving Western Conference leaders, the Denver Nuggets, who have traded youngster Bones Hyland to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for two future second-round picks.

Earlier in the day, Kevin Durant completed a stunning trade to the Phoenix Suns from the Brooklyn Nets, who have lost two All-Star starters in as many days after also trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks this week.

According to ESPN, the Suns gave the Nets three players in Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder, plus four unprotected first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap.

Reportedly part of the Durant trade, Jae Crowder is heading to the Milwaukee Bucks with the Nets receiving five second-round picks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

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