The Golden State Warriors are facing a number of difficult decisions in free agency this coming offseason, but the player who grabbed the 15th and final roster spot last year could end up being one of the top priorities.
The Warriors have seven players headed to unrestricted free agency, including three who played critical parts in the playoff and NBA Finals rotation — Otto Porter Jr., Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II. They also have a budding young star in Jordan Poole expected to get a big extension and a first-time All-Star in Andrew Wiggins who could get his own max deal at this time next year.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Warriors!
Defensive Specialist Could Return
After six seasons of bouncing around the NBA and spending long stretches in the G League, Payton found a home in Steve Kerr’s rotation last season. He was one of the team’s top defensive players and brought a scoring punch off the bench, averaging a career-best 7.1 points per game in 17.6 minutes.
Payton is now headed to unrestricted free agency, but one Western Conference executive believes that after working out a new deal to lock down breakout guard Jordan Poole, Payton would be the next order of business for the Warriors.
“After the Poole extension, Payton seems to be the priority there,” the executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “They want to get him at a reasonable number, of course, if he gets an