Gary Payton II's early exit in the Golden State Warriors' NBA In-Season Tournament loss to the Sacramento Kings was crucial. Steve Kerr could not find answers to lock down De'Aaron Fox or Malik Monk in the perimeter. It was once thought that the elite defender had just suffered a contusion to his leg. But, things may have gotten a little worse for the Stephen Curry-led squad.
Gary Payton II will be sidelined indefinitely for the remainder of the Warriors' campaign in 2023, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. He was hit with a torn right calf during their match against the Kings. There is no timetable for his return which will their perimeter defense significantly weaker in the coming games.
He was a crucial loss during the NBA In-Season Tournament defeat. But, he still put up serviceable numbers to get the Warriors in striking distance. On 17 minutes of playing time, he notched seven points and an assist to help Steve Kerr's offensive artillery. His work on the defensive side was astounding. He was preventing dribble hand-offs, hounding De'Aaron Fox on defense, and cleaning up the boards despite his meager amount of time spent on the court.
Other players for the Warriors may need to step up in order to improve their eight-win and 10-loss record. Moses Moody has shown some promise in the clutch in their loss. But, they will still have to improve their schematics such that they could compete for a postseason run come summer of next year. Will the Warriors get him back in time?