Gary Payton II is finalizing a multi-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, his agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed to ESPN.
Payton, who spent the past two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, is expected to join the Blazers on a three-year, $28 million deal, sources told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. The Warriors offered Payton the taxpayer mid-level exception, sources told Spears.
Just as Payton has ties to the Bay Area — with his father, Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton, being born in Oakland — he also has a connection to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He grew up in Seattle while his father played for the Seattle Supersonics. Payton also attended and played at Oregon State for two years.
After bouncing around the league since his rookie season in 2016-17, Payton finally found a fit in Golden State that allowed his game to flourish.
Viewed as a point guard when he came out of college, Payton was used more as a forward, and sometimes even a center, with the Warriors as he spent most of his time in the dunker spot.
Payton’s primary role was as a lockdown defender, posting a defensive rating of 100 — good for 40th in the league and sixth-best amongst the players who played around the same minute load.
He was successful in matchups against some of the league’s best big men, such as MVP Nikola Jokic, and the fact that he added a little more shooting to his offensive Arsenal (35.8% from 3 on 1.7 attempts per game) made him a more well -round player.