Trail Blazers Sign Free Agent Gary Payton II with MLE

The Portland Trail Blazers have reached a contract agreement with NBA free agent Gary Payton II, most recently seen with the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Payton II will join a backcourt featuring Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart, and 2022 lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe as Portland continues to assemble what they hope will be a contending squad around Lillard. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted news of the contractvalued at three years, $28 million.

Free agent Gary Payton II is finalizing a three-year, $28 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell @TheAthletic @stadium

Payton II, son of NBA Hall-of-Fame point guard Gary Payton, is 29 years old and has spent six seasons in the NBA. He’s played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Lakers in addition to the Warriors. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes per game over 71 apperances with the Warriors last season, including 16 starts. He shot 61.6% from the field in 4.8 attempts per game, 35.8% from the three-point arc. He upped those percentages to 65.9% and 53.3% in 12 playoffs games on the way to Golden State’s 2022 World Championship. The title capped the first playoffs run of Payton’s career.

During the run, Payton was praised for his defense and intensity.

The Blazers used most of their mid-level exception to sign Payton. He made just $1.9 million last season. $9.3 million per year represents a significant raise for him. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that the contract includes terms favorable to the guard, including a player option.

The three-year, $28 million deal Portland Trail Blazers offered Gary Payton II contains a player option and extra incentives, league sources tell @YahooSports

Payton II populates an already-crowded backcourt for the Blazers. His acquisition may free up incumbent players for trades as Portland continues to build into the crowded Western Conference fray.

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