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

Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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1. Warriors upgrade to similar type of player

There's enough similarities between Gary Payton II and Alex Caruso, most notably in size, position, defense and unquantifiable impact, to suggest that having both of them on the same roster probably isn't the greatest fit.

It makes some sense then that the Warriors -- who reportedly made a strong offer for the Chicago Bulls guard at February's mid-season deadline -- could explore a move where they upgrade from Payton to Caruso this offseason. Here's how a potential deal could look:

GPII Caruso

It's a fairly straight-forward deal for both sides, though the Bulls may get a better offer elsewhere with Caruso sure to be in demand if there's an inkling that he's truly gettable. CHGO Sports' Will Gottlieb recently reported one offer mid-season had resulted as a top 10 pick in this year's draft, with the potential of this deal being in the same ballpark if Chicago believe that Golden State will struggle in Stephen Curry's age 39 season.

There's no doubt that Caruso would be an upgrade on Payton, even if the latter overcomes the injury issues that's seen him play in just 66 of a possible 164 regular season games over the last two years. Caruso is a 25-30 minute per game player capable of being in closing lineups, having averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals and one block per game this season.

The 30-year-old also shot 40.8% from three-point range, and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team after being named to the First Team in 2022-23. It would certainly be a positive trade for Golden State, but giving up the first-round pick here may impact other potential deals that could prove more impactful.

Fun fact: Caruso and Payton were briefly teammates together when the latter played 11 games for the franchise in the 2017-18 season.

Update: Caruso has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Josh Giddey in the hours following publication