Amid all the recent trade action, a bizarre drama has unfolded relating to Golden State and Portland’s four-team trade.
In the trade, the Hawks get Saddiq Bey, the Pistons receive James Wiseman, the Warriors get back Gary Payton II and the Blazers get five second-round picks.
But once Payton arrived at the Warriors and did a physical, the deal was in jeopardy because he had a lingering abdomen injury the Blazers failed to disclose.
The injury was reportedly going to keep him sidelined for a significant amount of time but Warriors GM Bob Myers said today Payton will be re-evaluated in one month, and they hope to have him back on the floor before the playoffs begin in April.
The 30-year-old missed the opening 35 games of the season with the Blazers after undergoing offseason surgery for the injury and the Warriors have voiced their concerns to the league.
“The Warriors shared with the league what they believed to be evidence that Portland failed to provide relevant medical information on his condition prior to agreeing on the trade, sources said,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. “Also, the Blazers didn’t inform the Warriors that Payton — who missed 35 games after offseason abdomen surgery — had been taking the pain-killing medication Toradol to help allow him to play in games this season, sources said.”
On top of that, Golden State reportedly believe the Blazers have a history of not disclosing things when it comes to injuries, Chris Haynes says.
“I was told that they’ve urged the league to look into Portland’s dealing with New Orleans last year, when it was the C.J. McCollum-Larry Nance trade,” Haynes said on his podcast. “They’ve urged the league to look into that, particularly Larry Nance Jr. because they believe that a similar incident happened in that deal, and they feel like the Blazers may have a pattern of doing something where they’re either withholding information or presenting misleading information.”
The NBA could punish Portland with a fine and loss of draft picks if an investigation does uncover that they have failed to disclose relevant information on Payton’s injury.
Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters on Friday they were adamant he 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.”
More to come.