Golden State Warriors’ major question mark after Gary Payton II acquisition

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 28: Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on March 28, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 28: Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on March 28, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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After months of speculation surrounding their two-timeline approach, the Golden State Warriors did ultimately sacrifice a young talent for a win-now asset. Thursday saw the end of James Wiseman’s tenure with the franchise in a deal that brought Gary Payton II back.

While fans could argue around the value of the trade and criticise the front office/ownership for their initial handling of Payton’s free agency, one thing cannot be debated — the Warriors are a better team right now than they were 48 hours ago.

The addition of Gary Payton II gives the Golden State Warriors a solid nine-man rotation, but one roster issue remains for the moment.

Wiseman’s potential may come back to hurt Golden State in the future. But in the present, the Warriors have dealt a non-rotation player for someone that can provide them 15-20 minutes on a nightly basis. They needed that extra rotation player, and now it comes in the form of someone who they know fits the system.

The only potential issue is his overlap with a guard-heavy rotation. If Golden State starts their traditional lineup, then Payton joins Jordan Poole and Donte DiVincenzo as 6’4″ or below players off the bench. Steve Kerr cleverly utilized Payton last season as more of a big man on offense — setting screens, rolling to the rim, or standing in the dunkers spot. His strength, athleticism and general defensive expertise allows him to guard up positions as well if required, meaning it’s not the issue it may seem at face value.

Gary Payton’s defense will again be a weapon for the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Gary Payton’s defense will again be a weapon for the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The major question now is whether the Warriors want/need to add another big behind Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and JaMychal Green? Wiseman may not have been in the regular rotation, but at least he was a seven-foot body that could be used in case of emergency.

JaMychal Green has found himself back in Kerr’s rotation over recent games, but after less than 11 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, there’s still uncertainty in how much the head coach trusts the 32-year-old veteran.

All eyes now now turn to the buyout market, particularly given Golden State still have an open roster spot available. If they do want reinforcement at the center position, names to monitor include Serge Ibaka, Dewayne Dedmon, Nerlens Noel, and even Kevin Love.

Next. Veteran big allowing Golden State Warriors to be patient with crucial roster spot. dark

With Wiseman leaving the franchise and the continued workload on Green and Looney, don’t be surprised if the Warriors aren’t quite done yet as they seek to amend the one hole in the roster that remains.