Gary Payton II leaving the Warriors for the Trail Blazers was a ‘trade deal’

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Sports is a business, so when a player has the opportunity to secure a payday, it is often easy to decide.

For Gary Payton II, the chance to secure the bag came this offseason, with the guard offering the Warriors a long-term contract in his role as a depth piece in their run to the 2022 NBA Finals.

The 29-year-old has signed a three-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers worth $29 million in the Finals. Despite his desire to return to the Golden State, the decision to leave the Bay Area was purely financial.

“I had to take the money,” Peyton II said in a recent appearance on “Truth & Basketball with George Karl.” “I had to take a financial coach [George Karl].

“It didn’t work out. I’d love to go back to Golden State, but it didn’t work out. It’s just timing and everything. Just a business deal, and I just had to take the money.”

During the 2021-22 NBA season, the veteran guard averaged 7.1 points per game, with most of his appearances coming off the bench.

However, the series against the Boston Celtics is where the general managers noticed Peyton II in a 2-2 series.

Payton II scored 15 points off the bench in Game 5 to help the Warriors secure a 104-94 win. Golden State closes out the series in Game 6 at TD Garden.

Now in Portland, Peyton II is in a familiar position after spending his junior and senior seasons at Oregon State.

However, the decision was always economic; Despite his history at Oregon, Payton II hasn’t hesitated to put finances ahead of any need when testing the free agency market.

“I love Oregon,” Payton added. “Portland is great here. I spent two years in Corvallis and in P-town. But I love Oregon. But there was nothing against Oregon. I would take the money anywhere. “

RELATED: Why Warriors Won’t Find Next Gary Payton II Final NBA Roster Spot

The former Warriors guard hopes to be a key contributor on a Blazers team looking to turn things around after finishing 13th in the Western Conference in the 2021-22 season and collecting 27 wins under first-year coach Chauncey Billups.

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