Warriors’ Gary Payton II opted into his $9.1 million player option for the 2024-25 season

Gary Payton II Warriors pic
Gary Payton II Warriors pic

With the 2024 NBA Finals over, the offseason will soon be in full swing for all 30 teams. On June 30 starting at 6:00 p.m., teams can begin to negotiate with free agents. Most player options around the league are due on June 29, one day before legal free agency begins. However, Golden State’s Gary Payton II had to have his decision in by June 19th. 

ESPN’s Kendra Andrews reported that Payton opted into his $9.1 million player option for the 2024-25 season. In doing so, that gives Payton the ability to extend long-term with the team this summer. If not, Payton will play out next season and become an unrestricted free agent. We’ll have to wait and see if the two parties can strike a long-term deal.

Golden State’s Gary Payton II opted into his $9.1 million player option for next season

During an exit interview with the Warriors in April, Gary Payton expressed his desire to return to the Warriors. Payton mentioned being able to renegotiate his deal to secure a few more years with the team. When healthy, Payton has proved to be a key piece for Golden State. However, staying on the court has been the biggest obstacle for the 31-year-old. Since the start of the 2022-23 season, Payton has played in just 66 games. Fifty-one of those games were for the Warriors.

Additionally, Gary Payton II played in 44 games for Golden State in 2023-24 and dealt with multiple injuries. Between November and December 2023, Payton missed 13 straight games with a calf injury. On top of that, he missed another 16 games between January and February 2024 with a hamstring strain. In 44 games for the Warriors last season, Payton averaged (5.5) points, (2.6) rebounds, and (1.1) assists. He shot (.364) percent from beyond the arc on (1.3) threes attempted per game.

At his best, Gary Payton II is a quality role player off the bench for Golden State. He can come into the game and replace Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. However, staying healthy has been the biggest hurdle for the veteran guard. His availability has been in serious doubt over the last two seasons. If Payton can stay healthy in 2024-25, it would be much easier for him to get a long-term deal.

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