The Blazers Weren’t Aware of Golden State’s Concerns About Payton Before The Athletic Piece Was Published

The Portland Trail Blazers weren’t told that Golden State Warriors concerns about the health of Gary Payton II — by the Warriors organization or media outlets — until first reported by Athleticsper Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (subscription required).

The controversy surrounding the Blazers and Warriors, which jeopardized Thursday’s four-team deal involving the two franchises, the Detroit Pistons And Atlanta Hawksappears after a Friday report from Athletics Shams Charania declared Payton a physical failure with Golden State. Furthermore, the report claims Portland did not disclose critical information about Payton’s health in the trade negotiations.

Charania’s story was published minutes before Blazers general manager Joe Cronin spoke to the media to discuss Thursday NBA trade deadline. Prior to the publication of the report, Cronin had no knowledge of Golden State’s concerns, according to Highkin.

According to league sources, the Blazers were not made aware of Golden State’s concerns about Payton’s health or the team’s handling of his injury—neither from the Warriors’ organization nor from any media outlets reporting the allegations—prior to publication of the athletics story that occurred shortly before Cronin met with reporters, media availability. which had been scheduled the previous day.

Athletics a piece reported the Blazers had given Payton II an injection of the anti-inflammatory drug Toradol as part of his recovery. Later corrected to report that Payton was given Torodal orally.

Highkin wrote:

Toradol in pill form is much more common as a pain reliever and in much lower doses than injections.

Highkin’s story also includes a comprehensive timeline from the date Payton had surgery last July, to his Blazers debut in early January, to his trade to Golden State earlier this week. The timeline tracks the progress of Payton’s recovery and statements from members of the Blazers organization regarding his progress. Here’s one quote:

On October 13, less than a week before the season started, the team ejected another update said that Payton continues to be “going well” in his rehabilitation but will be out of action for the next two weeks.

That day at practice, Billups was asked about Payton’s recovery and said the team would not pressure him to return. “I think we just want to be extra careful with that,” Billups said at the time. “Gary is a tough player, he will fight through anything. You almost have to protect these people from themselves. He’s almost used to playing hurt his entire career.

Despite Payton’s failing physical, the Warriors agreed to continue trading today.

Based on a complaint filed by Golden State, an NBA investigation into the Blazers’ handling of the situation is still pending.

You can read the full story from Highkin Here (subscription required).

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