Warriors News: Gary Payton II's Contract to Be Guaranteed for Rest of Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 6, 2022

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (0) brings the ball up the court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Isaac Hale)
AP Photo/Isaac Hale

Gary Payton II is going to be a member of the Golden State Warriors for the rest of the season.

"I'm gonna make that decision right now," head coach Steve Kerr said when asked about the deadline to turn Payton's contract into a guaranteed one, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. "We're going to guarantee him the rest of the year."

Landing a guaranteed deal has been one of Payton's goals.

Kerith Burke of NBC Sports asked him about the Jan. 10 date that all standard contracts are guaranteed for the rest of the season during a December interview, and he said: "That's the day that I set another short-term goal to get to. I try not to think about it, but after games or whatever, I know what the date is."

Payton, who is the son of Hall of Famer Gary Payton, has been a major part of Golden State's efforts to survive the absence of Klay Thompson as the season nears the halfway point. 

He is averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 16.9 minutes per game, capitalizing on his opportunities as a spark off the bench who has also started seven times. Perhaps most impressively, he is shooting a blistering 64.1 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from deep.

Part of that is a testament to playing alongside Stephen Curry, who attracts double-teams to set up his teammates to succeed, but Payton has thrived for the championship contenders.

He is also an impressive defender and is holding opponents to 2.9 percent worse shooting than their normal averages when he guards them, per NBA.com.

Payton has found a role as a significant contributor for a Warriors team that sits atop the Western Conference at 29-8 and will apparently continue to be a part of their rotation for the rest of the season.