Sources: Warriors, NBA discuss resolution to 4-team trade

ByAdrian Wojnarowski ESPN logo
Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Golden State Warriors are discussing with the NBA a way to complete their four-team trade with Portland, Detroitand Atlanta, and still preserve their rights to pursue recourse on how the Trail Blazers shared guard Gary Payton II's medical information with them prior to the agreement, sources told ESPN on Sunday.

If that process is successfully completed Sunday -- and the Warriors can approve the deal without losing their ability to further pursue the matter -- the players involved in the trade are expected to be able to join their new teams, sources said.

The deal, agreed to prior to Thursday's trade deadline, sends Payton to Golden State, James Wiseman to Detroit, Saddiq Bey to Atlanta and Kevin Knox II to Portland. The Warriors also sent five second-round picks -- including two via Atlanta -- to the Blazers in the deal.

There is a 9:30 p.m. ET deadline on the Warriors to make a final decision on Payton's physical and the fate of the trade, sources said.

A Golden State physical revealed that Payton would be out for a significant part of the remaining season, and the Warriors have shared with the league office that they believe Portland withheld relevant medical information prior to agreeing on the trade, sources said.

The trade can't be amended or changed, because the league's trade deadline passed on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

The NBA could punish Portland with a fine and loss of draft picks if an investigation were to discover "a failure to disclose relevant information" on Payton's abdominal injury that required offseason surgery and forced him to miss the first 35 games of the season. The Warriors believe they should've been told that Payton had been using Toradol to alleviate pain, sources said.

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters on Friday in Portland that his team was "confident" that Payton was healthy.

"Player safety is super important to us, it's a super important thing around the league," Cronin said. "We were playing him, he was playing, and he had been cleared and we were confident that he was healthy when he was playing. We would not have brought him back if we thought he wasn't healthy or if he was at risk. So you trust that we did the right thing and trust that our process was correct."

Payton, 30, signed a free agent deal with the Blazers after breaking out with the Warriors a year ago. Golden State reacquired Payton believing that he would improve its perimeter defense. Payton averaged 4.1 points in 17 minutes. He has two years and $18 million left on his contract.

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