Payton finalizing deal with Blazers, agent says

Free agent Gary Payton II is finalizing a multi-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, his agent, Aaron Goodwin, confirmed to ESPN.

After bouncing around the league for years, Payton finally found a fit in Golden State last season that allowed his game to flourish.

Viewed as a point guard when he came out of college, Payton was used more as a forward and sometimes even a center with the Warriors as he spent most of his time in the dunker spot.

Payton’s primary role was as a lockdown defender, posting a defensive rating of 100 — good for 40th in the league and sixth-best among players who played around the same minute load.

He was successful in matchups against some of the league’s best big men, such as MVP Nikola Jokic, and the fact that he added a little more shooting to his offensive arsenal (35.8% from 3 on 1.7 attempts per game) made him a more well-rounded player.

ESPN’s Kendra Andrews contributed to this report.

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