The Golden State Warriors are clinging to the sixth seed in the Western Conference with just eight regular season games left. Every win is crucial from here on out if the Warriors plan on making a postseason run. Injuries have plagued the Warriors this season, but the team seems to be generally healthy at the moment. Even Gary Payton II will be returning to practice on Saturday and has a chance to play Sunday vs the Timberwolves.
Gary Payton II has played in just 15 games this season and all have been for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors traded for him on 2/12, but he’s been out since then with a right adductor injury. Golden State has reported that he’s making good progress and that’s a good sign for someone who hasn’t played in close to two months.
California Sports Betting sites have the Warriors at (+900) to win the Finals this season.
Gary Payton II injury update: pic.twitter.com/VvJpxSiPq7
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 23, 2023
Gary Payton II could make his season debut for the Warriors on Sunday vs Minnesota
The Warriors traded James Wiseman for Gary Payton II at the trade deadline but were unaware of the core injury he was dealing with. Initial reports from GM Bob Myers said that Payton II would likely be returning sometime before playoffs and that’s the timeline he’s on right now.
Payton II was an integral piece of the Warrior’s championship run last season and he’ll be a nice boost off the bench when he makes his return. In 71 games and 16 starts for Golden State last season, he averaged (7.1) points, (3.5) rebounds, and (1.4) steals per game.
Golden State is currently on a two-game win streak and has four consecutive home games coming up. The Warriors play tonight vs the Philadelphia 76ers at home and then have practice tomorrow where Payton II will be participating. Based on how he performs and feels afterward, Sunday could be his season debut for Dub Nation in 2022-23.