Gary Payton II is now officially the 15th man.
Per Warriors PR, Payton was signed to a contract, the details of which are undisclosed, per team policy.
Warriors sign Gary Payton II: pic.twitter.com/KhTDpcuGKl— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) October 19, 2021
It’s safe to assume that Payton has a fresh non-guaranteed contract, which probably provides the team with a bit more cap flexibility and tax savings, replacing the old non-guaranteed that would’ve become guaranteed by opening night.
Payton beat out Avery Bradley, Mychal Mulder, and Jordan Bell. Although playing in only a single preseason game — while coming off of a hernia repair — Payton showed out in his sole showing, showing energetic defensive flashes and being a rim-attacking menace through off-ball cuts and leak-outs in transition.
His youth compared to the more experienced but older Bradley may have been a factor in the Warriors deciding to award him the final roster spot. Payton is expected to provide plenty of energy and zeal as a point-of-attack defender, an area where the Warriors have deficiencies compared to last season, where the likes of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kent Bazemore excelled at.
Payton may only be good for spot minutes, but having the luxury of pulling out a capable situational defender will provide Steve Kerr with added flexibility and tools at his disposal.