• Gary Payton II was re-signed by the Golden State Warriors in October last year
  • He is set to receive nearly $2 million in salary this season, according to reports
  • He returned to NBA action Tuesday after being out for three weeks nursing a knee injury

Gary Payton II was one of the Golden State Warriors' best defensive weapons this 2021-22 NBA season before he was sidelined by a knee injury for almost three weeks. Here's a look at his career and how much he's making this season.

The 29-year-old Warriors guard returned to NBA action Tuesday when his team faced the Orlando Magic.

This season, Payton is set to receive a salary of $1.94 million, according to Spotrac.

Payton has been playing for the Warriors since April 2021, when Golden State initially signed him to a 10-day contract worth $118,983, according to Spotrac. When this deal ended, he inked another 10-day contract with the Warriors for the same amount before eventually getting signed for the rest of the season and the next season.

Payton was waived shortly before the start of the 2021-22 NBA season but was re-signed by the Warriors in October last year after he cleared waivers.

Dubbed “Young Glove,” the guard is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton, who was nicknamed “The Glove” for his defensive abilities.

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1992, while his father was still playing for the Seattle SuperSonics, the younger Payton played college basketball for the Oregon State Beavers. During his time with the team, he was named first-team All-Pac-12 as well as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

After two seasons with Oregon State, he decided to enter the 2016 NBA Draft. Payton, however, went undrafted in 2016, and his journey to the NBA hit a bump in the road.

Payton went on to join the Houston Rockets for the 2016 NBA Summer League. He appeared in six games before being waived. He reportedly made $543,471 in salary in his rookie year.

Payton then signed with the Rockets' G-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Not long into his stint in the G-League, he dropped 51 points on 20-of-29 shooting in a win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders, showing the first signs of his explosiveness.

In April 2017, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks — another one of his father's former teams. He reportedly made $135,166 for his two seasons with the team.

Between 2018 and early 2021, Payton had short stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Vipers, Washington Wizards, South Bay Lakers and Raptors 905 of the NBA G League before signing his current deal with the Warriors.

Payton played less than 10 minutes when he returned to the court Tuesday, but he is expected to continue playing in the Warriors' upcoming games after his name was removed from the team's injury list, The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported.

Before he hurt his knee on March 3 during a game against the Dallas Mavericks, Payton earned five consecutive starts and helped the Warriors' opening lineup. In those games, he averaged 11 points on 57.5% shooting, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.

Payton said Tuesday that the hardest part of nursing his injured knee over the last eight games was “just watching” and not being able to help his teammates, Mercury News reported.

However, Payton said that he was able to see some of the Warriors’ flaws from the bench and that he’s excited to just get back and “try to clean up what we’ve needed to clean up the last couple of weeks.”

Gary Payton II
Gary Payton II of the Golden State Warriors tries to chase LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers as Anthony Davis gives him a screen. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images