As hinted at yesterday, Gary Payton is not expected to report to Atlanta following yesterday’s Antoine Walker trade. The veteran point guard has requested a buyout of his contract, according to the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy.
Payton may return to the Celtics under a new free agent deal.
Atlanta, according to multiple sources, has agreed to buy Payton out of what’s left on the final year of his contract.
Though agent Aaron Goodwin declined comment last night, his client is already believed to be receiving inquiries from several teams in anticipation of the buyout.
Though Miami has reportedly expressed interest, the Celtics are still considered a favorite to keep Payton in green, based on the starting role they can offer him. With Dwyane Wade now in a shooting guard role, and Damon Jones also commanding major backcourt minutes, the Heat may not have the same opportunity for Payton.
The 36-year-old point guard, reportedly in Los Angeles visiting his family last night, was unavailable for comment.