Report: NBA investigating Blazers for potentially misleading Dubs


Questions surrounding the Warriors' trade for Gary Payton II still remain, but it looks as if some of them could be answered soon.

The NBA has launched a review of potential misleading by the Portland Trail Blazers regarding Payton's status after receiving a complaint from Golden State, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday, citing sources.

Sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that Payton failed his physical Thursday, after arriving in the Bay as part of a four-team trade between the Warriors, Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons.

Charania and Anthony Slater, also of The Athletic, reported Friday, citing sources, that Portland pushed Payton to play through a core muscle injury and administered Toradol shots to help him manage the pain.

Payton's agent denied a key part of that report, however, telling Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes on Saturday that Payton "never took Toradol shots to be available for games during his time in Portland."

The Athletic reported Sunday their sources clarified Payton was given Toradol orally, not via injection, as the outlet originally reported.

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin responded to the accusations while talking to Portland media Friday.

"Player safety is super important to us," Cronin said. "I mean, it's a super important thing around the league. We were playing him. He was playing and he 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 he was at risk.

"So, you trust that we did the right thing, we trust that our process was correct, and these reports, I think ... the clearance process was proper, so I'll have to rely on that."

Still, the Warriors shared with the league office they believe the Trail Blazers withheld relevant medical information before the trade was agreed upon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday, citing sources.

The Athletic's Marcus Thompson reported Sunday that Payton wanted out of Portland, leading to the trade, and that the guard told multiple people connected to the Warriors he still wasn't healthy and was happy to be back with Golden State because he preferred its medical staff to Portland's.

The NBA could hit Portland with a fine and take away draft picks should an investigation discover "a failure to disclose relevant information" on Payton's abdominal injury, per Wojnarowski, which caused the guard to miss the first 35 games of the 2022-23 NBA season after offseason surgery.

Payton's failed physical revealed he would miss a significant part of the remaining season as well, Wojnarowski reported, citing sources, and Friday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Dalton Johnson that there is "no exact timetable" for Payton's recovery.

Despite all this, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on Friday that the Warriors are interested in waiving the failed physical to keep Payton on the roster. Wojnarowski reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Warriors are working with the league to complete the four-team trade while preserving their rights to pursue recourse on how Payton's medical information was shared with them.

Wojnarowski reported Saturday, citing sources, that the Warriors have until 6:30 p.m. PT Sunday to decide whether or not to go forward with the four-team trade, which also sent James Wiseman from Golden State to the Pistons and saved the Warriors a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Because the trade deadline has passed, the four teams can't modify the complex deal. The Warriors either accept the trade as is and bring Payton back into the fold after letting him leave in free agency over the summer, or they pull out of the deal, bringing back former No. 2 overall pick Wiseman onto the roster.

RELATED: GP2, Myers sit together at Dubs game amid trade uncertainty

Signs point to the Warriors keeping the deal intact and letting an investigation play out, as Payton was seen sitting with president of basketball operations Bob Myers and vice president of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr. to watch the end of Golden State's 109-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night at Chase Center.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr described the entire situation as "strange" ahead of Saturday's game.

"There's not a whole lot to do or say, so we're just waiting it out and seeing how it plays out," Kerr said.

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