Just when things seemed to be going well – the trade deadline ended and the Atlanta Hawks got a relief-filled win over the Phoenix Suns, albeit the version without many key pieces including the newly acquired Kevin Durant who is still sidelined with an MCL injury and will be through the All-Star break, per the last update from his former team, the Brooklyn Nets.
But it appears a different injury threatens to derail the good vibes the Hawks generated with their trade for former Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey by way of the Golden State Warriors.
The latter of whom could throw a huge monkey wrench in the entire process.
“A failed physical exam of Gary Payton II has placed the Golden State-Portland-Detroit-Atlanta four-team deal in serious jeopardy,” tweeted Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Payton’s core muscle injury could sideline him for up to three months following a Warriors exam.”
Saddiq Bey-to-Atlanta Hawks ‘in serious jeopardy,’ says insider
The Hawks, Pistons, Warriors, and Portland Trail Blazers also involved (potentially) former Golden State big man James Wiseman – the 21-year-old former second-overall pick in 2021 – heading to Detroit with a slew of second-round picks being exchanged in the process. Now the Hawks could end up back at square one.
Bey is averaging 14.8 points on 55.2% true shooting with 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Shooting 34.6% from downtown over the last two years, the 6-foot-7 Bey shot 38% as a rookie.
Payton failed his physical after playing through pain associated with offseason abdominal surgery from which he was slow to recover. The Warriors, Charania says in a piece co-authored with Anthony Slater (subscription required).
Atlanta sent forward Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky to the Houston Rockets for Bruno Fernando and Garrison Mathew in a subsequent deal.
It is unclear if they would have made that deal that sent out two players who had contributed this season if they did not think they had landed Bey, a move that the team officially announced the move while Bey and Fernando also checked in; in Ferndando’s case, back in.
This is a developing story with Payton set to undergo further x-rays, per Jason Dumas of Bleacher Report.
New general manager Landry Fields arguably showed a lot of aggressiveness considering most estimations had the Hawks looking to move John Collins for other parts. Instead, Fields retains Collins and adds another former 19th overall pick in Bey.