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Billups: Gary Payton II Edging Closer To Blazers Debut

Portland’s offseason signing is edging closer to his season debut.

Portland Trail Blazers Media Day Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Gary Payton II is getting closer to his Portland Trail Blazers debut but is still not ready to play, according to Coach Chauncey Billups.

The Blazers’ big offseason free agent signing is working himself back into shape after undergoing abdominal surgery.

The-29-year-old, who signed a training camp contract with Portland in 2018, agreed to a three-year, $28 million deal with the Oregon franchise just weeks after helping the Golden State Warriors to the 2021-22 NBA championship.

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.

Payton II, the son of NBA Hall-of-Fame point guard Gary Payton, has also spent time in the G-League, representing the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Wisconsin Herd, South Bay Lakers, Capital City Go-Go and Raptors 905.

Payton II played two years at Oregon State before entering the professional ranks.