The ‘stung’ reaction within GSW after Gary Payton II exit

The Golden State Warriors are the odds-on favorite to repeat for an NBA title next season. They’re bringing back all their major pieces and have their young players tack on another year of maturity. But they did lose one key cog in Gary Payton II.

GPII signed a three-year, $28 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers – an offer the Golden State simply did not want to match given their salary cap situation.

Via The Athletic:

The difference in the tax penalty — somewhere around $15 million extra in the immediate, a whole lot more throughout a longer-term deal — caused Lacob and the Warriors to balk.

While the financial reasoning behind backing off from re-upping Gary Payton II is logically sound, it still didn’t sit well with others within the Warriors organization, this according to a report from The Athletic’s Anthony Slater:

It stung several in the organization, per sources. They’d found Payton and grown to not only love the person but also understand the value of his unique skill set. It translated to winning. For the first time, they’d failed to retain one of their own due to an unwillingness to meet a financial demand.

Gary Payton II was not just a fan favorite, but an internal favorite within the team as well. It became clear when he was injured in a freak collision with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks in the West Semis just how beloved he is with the entire team rallying to make sure to avenge his loss due to injury.

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But Payton sure seems happy with the biggest bag of his career, and the bond he shared with his Warriors family will surely stay even when he’s farther up the West Coast.

Lakers, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Woj

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