3 Proposed Gary Payton II Trades for the Golden State Warriors to Consider

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Gary Payton II officially opted in to his $9.1 million player option on Wednesday, in some ways leaving more questions than answers in an already chaotic offseason ahead for the Golden State Warriors.

The defensive-minded guard had the chance to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent, leaving him with the ability to negotiate a new deal with the Warriors or explore a rival deal as he did two years ago. Instead, Payton's secured his money for next season, though that doesn't mean his future is completely solidified.

The decision to opt in to his $9.1 million player option could make Gary Payton II a trade candidate for the Golden State Warriors

After floating the idea of Payton becoming a trade candidate on the Warriors Plus Minus podcast earlier in the month, The Athletic's Anthony Slater reiterated that the 31-year-old's future is still up in the air in the wake of his contract decision.

"Payton's midsized $9.1 million expiring deal could be valuable in salary-matching for potential trades. The Warriors are exploring various avenues to improve as draft and free agency near. So it's no guarantee he plays out the final season of this contract for Golden State."

Anthony Slater

While Golden State may have preferred that Payton opt out to negotiate a longer-term deal on less annual money, the $9.1 million expiring contract nonetheless becomes a valuable one in their hope of finding a major roster upgrade this offseason.

The initial issue for the Warriors is that as a second apron team, they can't currently aggregate salaries in a trade. Assuming they manoeuvre themselves out of that spot in the coming weeks, Payton's salary could be utilized in a range of different scenarios.

Let's look at three different trades involving Payton, each with varying levels of potential impact: