Gary Payton II reportedly near deal with Washington Wizards

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LAS VEGAS — The G-League Showcase was created as a chance for general managers and team scouts to see a lot of players in a few days, guys who could be called up later in the season or signed to 10-day contracts. The advent of the two-way contract cut into that, there are fewer guys plucked from the G-League mid-season.

Gary Payton II may be the exception, the South Bay Laker — who had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first Showcase game Thursday — is close to a deal with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Washington, without John Wall for the season, has relied on Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith at the point.

Payton is averaging 21.4 points and 6.8 assists per game this season, but he does not space the floor as a shooter. Payton played in three games for Washington last season and before that had stints with the Bucks and Lakers.

Because of all the injuries to their roster, the Wizards have applied for a “hardship waiver” that lets them have a 16th roster spot. Payton would go into that slot.