Last season the Los Angeles Lakers kept an open roster spot so they could try out different players. One of the young guys who got a shot was Gary Payton II, who the team signed to a two-way deal in January.
Payton went on to split time between the Lakers and their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers throughout the remainder of the season. He even ended the season on a high note, notching 25 points and 12 rebounds in the season finale against the Clippers.
Despite that, the Lakers have decided not to bring back Payton, and the guard has now agreed to a training camp deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Chinanu Onuaku, Cam Oliver and Gary Payton II have agreed to training camp deals with Portland, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 3, 2018
After agreeing to a buyout with Luol Deng, the Lakers have one roster spot open heading into training camp. The team has a couple of players who could conceivably take the final spot as the likes of Jeffrey Carroll, Joel Berry II, and Johnathan Williams will all be in camp for the Lakers.
L.A. could also conceivably go into the season with just 14 players on their roster. The Lakers’ two-way contracts are also filled as the team signed Travis Wear to its second one, to go along with Alex Caruso, who signed a two-year, two-way deal last summer.
Payton certainly showed himself to be a potential contributor. In 20 games with the South Bay Lakers he averaged 17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.0 steals. However the team has decided to move on and Payton will have a chance to make the Blazers roster.