The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly offered Gary Payton II a contract of around $8 million a year in NBA free agency. The rumor was tweeted by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, who said the Blazers also might be chasing Brooklyn Nets wing Bruce Brown.
Gary Payton II has drawn a strong offer from the Trail Blazers among other suitors, sources said. I’m told Portland has the richest contract, roughly $8M, out to the versatile defender, but still mutual interest in Payton’s return to Golden State. Bruce Brown another POR target.
While the report suggests that the 6’3 Payton still has interest in returning to the championship-winning Golden State Warriors, the Blazers offer appears to be the strongest among their competitors.
The offer would take up the majority of the Blazers’ non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
The Warriors currently own the 29-year-old’s “Non-Bird” Rights, meaning they can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him. He earned $1.9 million last year.
The second-generation NBA champion enjoyed a breakout season with the Warriors after bouncing around the NBA and G-League since going undrafted in 2016. He averaged 7.1 points with 35% three-point shooting to go with 3.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while playing lockdown defense.
Payton II also hit 15 points and recorded 3 steals against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a series the Warriors won.
Fischer also mentioned Brooklyn Nets wing Bruce Brown, Jr. as a potential Portland target. The 6’4, 25-year-old wing played in 72 games for the Nets last season, starting 45. He scored 9.0 points in 24.6 minutes per game, shooting 50.6% from the floor, 40.4% from the three-point arc. Brown made $4.7 million last season and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.