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Failed physical puts Warriors trade in jeopardy

A failed physical has jeopardized Gary Payton II's potential return to the Golden State Warriors. | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Bay Area sports fans have to be sick of the words “pending physical” by now.

First came Carlos Correa, who was three hours away from his introductory press conference with the San Francisco Giants when concerns about his ankle stopped him from signing.

Now a four-team trade that would have reunited the Golden State Warriors with Gary Payton II is hanging in the balance after his physical revealed a core muscle injury that could keep him out for up to three months.

The trade, as initially agreed upon, would send 2020 second overall pick James Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons, while Payton would go from the Portland Trail Blazers back to the Warriors. Golden State would also receive a pair of future second-round picks from the Atlanta Hawks, who were supposed to acquire Saadiq Bey from Detroit. Kevin Knox II was supposed to head from Detroit to Portland, and the Trail Blazers were also due to receive five future second-round picks.

Payton II is the son of Oakland native Gary Payton, who is currently the head basketball coach at Lincoln University in Oakland. Payton II spent the 2021-22 season with the Warriors, averaged a career-high 7.1 points per game in the regular season and scored 15 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a month after suffering a fractured elbow during Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Warriors have until Saturday to either go through with the trade or rescind the entire four-team deal. The trade deadline passed on Thursday at noon Pacific time, meaning a restructured trade is out of the question.

There’s no word on if Payton’s health will affect the status of his now-viral jersey swap with Jordan Poole following Wednesday’s Warriors loss in Portland.