The Golden State Warriors expect guard Gary Payton II to miss at least three weeks after the MRI on his elbow showed slight damage. Payton II will miss the rest of the series against the Memphis Grizzlies and the conference finals, but has not ruled out a return in the NBA Finals if the Warriors make it that far.
Sources: MRI on Warriors guard Gary Payton II showed slight ligament damage along with his fractured left elbow. He will miss at least three weeks and has not ruled out a return in the NBA Finals.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 5, 2022
Payton II suffered the injury in the opening quarter of Game 2, when he was on the receiving end of a Flagrant 2 foul courtesy of Dillon Brooks. The Grizzlies forward was ejected from the game and Payton II eventually left with elbow pain. The team announced he had a fracture after the contest.
With Payton II out, look for Jordan Poole to potentially get the start for Golden State. The Warriors will now have to find a new defensive strategy regarding Ja Morant, as Payton II was his primary defender and had some success. Morant went for 47 in Game 2 against Golden State, so clearly Payton II was making an impact on that side of the ball.