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Warriors hope Gary Payton II returns before the playoffs

The timeline is getting more optimistic.

Gary Payton II hugging the Larry O’Brien trophy after the Warriors won a championship Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

In case you missed it, the four-day saga ended on Sunday night, when the Golden State Warriors formally decided to finalize a four-team trade, despite failing Gary Payton II’s physical. Payton is now officially a Warrior. James Wiseman is now officially with the Detroit Pistons. Saddiq Bey is now officially with the Atlanta Hawks. And Kevin Knox II and a quintet of second-round picks are now with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Now the focus shifts from whether or not Payton would be traded to the Warriors, to when he’ll play.

There were conflicting reports about the severity of the injury that Payton has been playing through, reportedly at the pressure of the Blazers (he started against the Warriors about 15 hours before the trade). The first reports suggested that Payton would be out at least three months, quite possibly ending his season. Some follow up reports said the Warriors were hoping for two or three months.

And now things are a little more optimistic. General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Bob Myers met with the media on Monday to discuss the bizarre events leading up to and following the trade deadline, and he offered an injury update on Payton.

Myers said the team will reevaluate Payton in one month, with the hope that he’ll be back on the court and re-integrating himself wit the Dubs before the playoffs start.

Myers was careful when addressing the difference in medical opinions between Golden State and Portland, saying, “It is our determination he’s not ready to play right now.” Myers called it the “goal” and “hope” that Payton would be back before the playoffs, but cautioned that “Until we get a sense of how the rehab process is going, I can’t really speculate.”

The Warriors final regular season game is on April 9, less than two months away. The play-in tournaments begin on April 11, with the first round of the playoffs kicking off on April 15.

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