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Report: Gary Payton II expected to return in NBA Finals

The Warriors advanced to the Finals with a Game 5 win over the Mavericks on Thursday night.

Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 3, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.  Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors G Gary Payton II is expected to return for the NBA Finals, per Shams Charania. Payton has been sidelined due to a fractured elbow. The Warriors advanced to the 2022 NBA Finals with a win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 on Thursday night. The Warriors await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. They play Game 6 on Friday night in Boston. The Celtics lead 3-2.

Payton started a few games and appeared in seven before being injured in the second round against the Memphis Grizzlies. His return should help with the Warriors depth. The Dubs have tapped into the bench quite a bit this postseason, but mostly in games that are blowouts. Payton should re-enter the rotation and is one of Golden State’s better defenders.

The Warriors are up to -140 to win the championship this season on DraftKings Sportsbook. Stephen Curry is the favorite to win NBA Finals MVP at +110 despite never winning the award in five NBA Finals appearances (three wins).