The Detroit Pistons trade deadline deal that saw them acquire James Wiseman from the Golden State Warriors is now in serious jeopardy after Gary Payton II failed his physical with the Warriors.
The complicated four-team trade saw Detroit send out Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox to the Warriors for Wiseman. The Warriors then sent Bey to the Atlanta Hawks for five second-round picks. The Warriors sent some of those picks and Knox to the Portland Trail Blazers for Payton II.
Payton, who missed most of this season with an abdominal muscle injury. He had been playing through pain with the Blazers, but the Warriors gave him a failed physical on Friday and there are reports he could miss two to three months with a core muscle injury.
The Warriors have until Saturday to go through with the trade, agree to amendments with other parties or rescind the entire deal for all parties. The Athletic, which broke the story, said there have been behind-the-scenes discussions about amending the trade or a full reversal of the deal.
While nothing is certain, perhaps it is important to note that Troy Weaver did speak to the media Friday evening about the deal, and he must have been aware of the uncertain status of the deal at the time and still went through with speaking publicly.
It wouldn’t be out of the question for the Warriors to accept the trade even with Payton’s injury. Payton was a heralded member of the Warriors for the past couple years before signing his free agent deal with the Blazers so the team knows he fits into their system. He’s also under contract for several seasons after this one, and the deal saves them several million dollars in luxury tax payments. Even if they get nothing from Payton this season, it’s not like they were counting on getting anything from Wiseman. It wouldn’t be surprising if they would be motivated to turn the page on the whole Wiseman saga.
It would be awkward for the Pistons to welcome back players it just traded, but it is nothing new in Detroit. They are the kings of rescinded trades. Just last season, the Pistons traded Rodney McGruder to the Denver Nuggets for Bol Bol, but that was later rescinded after Bol Bol failed his physical in Detroit.
The Pistons also voided a 2016 trade featuring Houston Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas after serious back issues caused Detroit’s doctors to fail his physical.
Detroit players, Weaver and coaches have said all the right things about Bey and Knox since the trade was official, but the act of dealing them out is a sign they weren’t viewed as essential pieces of the rebuild. There were also reports of frustration with Bey’s shot selection and desire to expand his game beyond his catch-and-shoot prowess. There were also indications the Pistons were not exactly thrilled with the signing Bey to the kind of post-rookie contract deal he was seeking.
We will update the story as we learn more.