The Golden State Warriors have filed an official complaint against the Portland Trail Blazers for allegedly being misled about the extent of Gary Payton II’s injury during trade discussions, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The league has already launched a review into the Warriors’ claim.
“The NBA has received a complaint from the Golden State Warriors against the Portland Trail Blazers and the league has launched a review of potential misleading by the Blazers regarding Gary Payton II’s status,” Charania wrote on Twitter Sunday morning.
The Warriors acquired Payton from the Blazers in a four-team deal at Thursday’s trade deadline that sent James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons. Payton subsequently failed his physical with Golden State, with reporting indicating that Portland medical personnel urged him to play through lingering pain associated with core muscle surgery underwent in September. Warriors trainers forecast that Payton could be sidelined for two-to-three months while making a full recovery.
During a post-deadline press conference on Friday evening, Portland general manager Joe Cronin denied that Payton—whose long-delayed season debut came in early January—was ever instructed to take the floor without a clean bill of health.
“[Payton] had been cleared, and we were confident that he was healthy when he was playing. We would not have brought him back if we thought he wasn’t healthy or if we thought he was at risk,” Cronin said.
Josh Hart, dealt from the Blazers to the New York Knicks at the deadline, pointedly went out of his way on Saturday night to call Cronin, Portland’s training staff and organization at large “great” and a “class act” after helping his new team to a win. Payton’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, has also refuted reporting that his client took shots of Toradol with the Blazers to manage his discomfort while playing.
Golden State has until Sunday at 6:30 p.m. (PT) to rescind the trade entirely or make Payton’s acquisition official.
Though there’s been no concrete reporting on the Warriors’ decision-making process, it’s telling that Payton sat next to assistant general manager Mike Dunleavy during Saturday’s loss to the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center. His new No. 8 jersey hung in a locker room stall before the game, too.