The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the league’s best teams with a 5-1 start. And they are only going to be getting better with the return of one of their key reserves.
Turner Sports insider Chris Haynes tweeted out a piece of news that should make Blazers fans happy.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Gary Payton II (abdominal surgery) will make his season debut at the earliest on Nov. 15 against the San Antonio Spurs, league sources tell @NBAonTNT.
With Payton’s return possibly two weeks away, the team still has seven games between now and when they could get him back. However, the wording of the tweet makes it seem as if the Nov. 15 return target is not a guarantee.
The Nov. 15 game starts a three-game homestand. The next game comes two days later on Nov. 17, when the Blazers play the Brooklyn Nets, who just parted ways with head coach in Steve Nash.
Payton, who signed a three-year, $28 million deal with the Blazers this offseason, is expected to help transform Portland’s defense in the second unit.
Payton, the son of NBA Hall-of-Fame point guard Gary Payton, is 29-years-old and has spent six seasons in the NBA. He’s played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Lakers in addition to the Warriors. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 17.6 minutes per game over 71 appearances with the Warriors last season, including 16 starts. He shot 61.6 percent from the field in 4.8 attempts per game, 35.8 percent from the three-point arc. He upped those percentages to 65.9 and 53.3 in 12 playoffs games on the way to Golden State’s 2022 World Championship. The title capped the first playoff run of Payton’s career.
Hopefully Payton’s return will be the start of another deep playoff run, this time for the Blazers.