The season starts tomorrow but the Golden State Warriors still have one more vacant spot on their main roster. Many have speculated who the Warriors will add using that final roster spot, but head coach Steve Kerr may have hinted that the team could use it on recently waived Warriors guard Gary Payton II according to a tweet by Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.
Steve Kerr had no announcement today on a possible add for the 15th roster spot, but he mentioned Gary Payton II as a possible second-unit player, so you can probably guess where this is headed.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) October 18, 2021
The Warriors waived Payton last Friday night after their final preseason game. According to an article by Anthony Slater of The Athletic, if Payton was still on the team on Saturday, his contract would have become guaranteed at slightly above the minimum. By waiving him, the team could sign him back to a non-guaranteed minimum deal which would give them the flexibility to add a player later while still making use of the roster spot now.
Due to a groin injury, Payton only appeared in one preseason game for the Warriors. In that one game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he scored 12 points, 1 steal, 1 rebound, and 1 block in 11 minutes. He gave the team good energy off the bench, hustling for rebounds and making nice cuts to the rim for open lay-ups and dunks. Payton, aka “The Mitten”, is known for his defensive skill, using his active hands and high energy to rack up steals both on or off the ball. Payton would be the best option for adding depth to the team right now while giving them the flexibility to move him if a better option were to present itself later.