Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II is sidelined indefinitely with a torn right calf, according to league sources. Here’s what you need to know:
- Payton limped to the locker room Tuesday night during the third quarter of the Warriors’ game against the Sacramento Kings and didn’t return.
- In 2023-24, Payton is averaging 5.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 47.9 percent shooting from the floor.
- The Warriors lost 124-123 to the Kings, falling to 8-10 on the season. Golden State sits 10th in the Western Conference.
Long absence expected for Gary Payton II. Huge rotational blow for the Warriors. Payton had been great when on the court this season. https://t.co/Ymo9A43F9j
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 30, 2023
What type of timeline are we talking?
It will be a long absence. Payton will almost assuredly miss a large chunk of the rest of the regular season. But additional information and tests are needed before the Warriors release any type of official timeline. But there’s no rush. The front office and coaching staff know they will be without their defensive ace for the foreseeable future. It’s time to adjust accordingly. — Anthony Slater, Warriors beat writer
What does that mean for the rotation?
It seems like a good time to find Moses Moody more guaranteed minutes. Steve Kerr actually had Moody out of the initial rotation against the Kings on Tuesday night, but injuries to Payton and Chris Paul cracked the door open and Moody busted through again. He scored 11 of the Warriors’ first 12 fourth-quarter points, keeping them in the game. Kerr subbed him out — a move that was criticized — but the statement was made. Moody has played well at almost every opportunity this season.
There’s no reason he can’t sop up Payton’s leftover minutes. It could also mean a window to extra time for Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski and Cory Joseph, depending on the night and Paul’s timeline for return, which is still being determined. — Slater
(Photo: Sergio Estrada / USA Today)