The Golden State Warriors received a slight bit of good news on Thursday. After both veteran point guard Chris Paul and wing Gary Payton II left Tuesday’s 124-123 loss to the Kings with injuries, the team released an update on their prognoses. It was reported on Wednesday by Shams Charania that Payton had suffered a torn right calf, a statement from the team says Payton has a “strained calf” and will be re-evaluated in a week. Paul is dealing with a left leg nerve contusion and will be reevaluated on Monday.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic later clarified that Payton had suffered a tear, but the team believes they will have a better sense of the timeline in a week.
Paul has been a stabilizing force for the Warriors off the bench so far this season, averaging 8.9 points, 7.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 turnovers in 26.8 minutes per game. Limited to a bench role for the first time in his career, Paul has taken a noteworthy step back as a scorer. His jump shot has been quite inconsistent and has shot just 39.9% from the field, which would be the worst single-season mark of his career.
Payton has played a less prominent role in head coach Steve Kerr’s rotation, averaging 17.3 minutes per game in 14 games. Primarily a slasher/defensive stopper, Payton has recorded 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game on .479/.321/.667 shooting.
With the Warriors already off to a slow start this season, a prolonged absence for two of their most proven bench players could have been a significant problem. Granted, their absence should create an opportunity for young players like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski, and Trayce Jackson-Davis who have all had promising flashes this season.