• Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Gary Payton II will be handed a guaranteed deal this season
  • Payton has revealed how he truly feels about Kerr's confirmation
  • The 29-year-old is currently playing the best season of his career with the Dubs

After an impressive breakout season with the Golden State Warriors, Gary Payton II finally received good news.

Payton took over the final spot in the Warriors roster this offseason and was signed by the team via a partially guaranteed contract. During his post-game conference Thursday, Dubs coach Steve Kerr confirmed that they will guarantee Payton for “the rest of the year.”

After learning about the development, Payton admitted that he is still unsure if he feels secure despite knowing that he is on course to become a part of a unit primed for another NBA title run.

“Not a moment or a time I felt safe,” Payton told NBC Sports with a smile. “I don’t know if I still do, but I guess Coach Kerr said what he said.”

Further lifting the lid on his decision to keep Payton this season, Kerr said that the “two-way player” rightfully deserved to be granted a guaranteed deal.

“Gary’s a two-way player,” Kerr explained. “When you are that elite defensively, the question in the playoffs becomes can you survive offensively. This is a guy who is among the league leaders in field-goal percentage. He’s got a knack around the rim; we’ve seen it every single night, whether it’s in transition or offensive boards or playing in the dunker spot. He’s dramatically improved his 3-point shot.”

“Gary’s the real deal, and he’s going to be in our rotation in any big game,” he added.

Indeed, Payton has been playing the best basketball of his career this season, having played a total of 37 games for the Warriors while averaging almost 8 points in 17 minutes of action per game. His numbers in all these categories have been the highest he has had since playing his maiden NBA season in 2016.

Despite not being able to find the perfect spot for the 29-year-old in his rotation last season, Kerr admitted that the team always knew Payton will “play a role” in his squad.

“He’s earned his spot in the rotation and there’s no reason why he won’t continue to play quite a bit,” Kerr previously said of Payton. “He’s fearless and he’s finally getting a real chance to play big minutes on a good team. He’s the kind of guy who’s gonna seize this opportunity and make the most of everything. He’s fun to watch.”

“We knew he would play a role,” he revealed. “We really liked him a year ago and all summer and we knew we needed a defensive-minded guard to complement the rest of the roster.”

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, Dec. 1, 2018. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images