The Golden State Warriors have been busy this summer, to say the least. They added two new lottery picks via the 2021 NBA Draft, signed veteran talents like Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Belijica. But — they still haven’t found a backup point guard… unless Gary Payton II can force his way into the lineup.
Gary Payton II might be the backup point guard the Golden State Warriors have been searching for to help Stephen Curry.
Payton signed a two-year non-guaranteed contract with the Dubs last year. He already earned the first portion of his deal but there is no certainty he will be back on the roster this season to finish off his contract.
Anyone who has watched the Warriors play in the Las Vegas Summer League can probably already tell that GP2 is fighting for his basketball life. The 28-year-old is looking to make an impact every chance that he gets, rising up for dunks and picking up opponents the full length of the court.
Has Payton been successful in his pursuit of an NBA job? So far, I’d say so. In his three games played in Vegas, Payton is averaging 11.3 points on a scorching hot 73.7 percent shooting from the floor. In addition, he’s hauling in 7.0 rebounds, dishing 3.7 assists and swiping 2.3 steals per game. This is a small sample size, of course.
Nevertheless, Payton is leaving it all on the floor and hustling his way into a roster spot. He’s making the most of every opportunity and has scored efficiently, just as he did last season with the Warriors.
As of now, the Dubs don’t have any defensive-minded guards who can step in and simply outwork opponents in the second unit. This is why GP2 makes the most sense at this stage. Unless they find a quality replacement in the final days of free agency, the Dubs should simply give Payton the chance he’s been looking for.
He won’t be cranking out major minutes or turning into a Sixth Man of the Year candidate but GP2 can offer some energy off the bench for a team who doesn’t have a true backup point guard to replace Stephen Curry.