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Gary Payton wants to finish out the season with a playoff contender. The Hawks don't fall into that category.
The Hawks waived Payton on Tuesday, the deadline for players to clear waivers and be eligible for a playoff roster.
Atlanta, which had the NBA's worst record (10-45) heading into Tuesday night's game at Denver, acquired Payton last week at the trade deadline in a deal that sent leading scorer and rebounder Antoine Walker to the Boston Celtics.
But Payton never reported to the Hawks and sought a buyout of his contract by Tuesday, which he got.
"Everything's fine," Hawks general manager Billy Knight said. "It's good for Gary, it's good for us. We want our young players to get playing time, and he wants to be a free agent and make the playoffs."
The Hawks never made a push to bring in Payton, and asked whether he ever really expected Payton to show, Knight said, "I wouldn't comment about that part of it. I knew I'd talk to his agent."
The 36-year-old guard reluctantly came to Boston last summer from the Lakers. He was averaging 12.1 points and 6.1 assists this season for the Celtics, who are interested in bringing him back.
Boston coach Doc Rivers said Boston is one of six or seven teams interested in the nine-time all-star.
The Celtics were sparing no efforts to bring him back. Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis called Payton, as did Rivers. The coach said Payton would be happy to return to Boston, though he was keeping his options open.
"I would love to have him back," Rivers said. "When we made the trade [to acquire Payton], no one wanted him. Now six or seven teams want him. So that means he did his job very well here. I think he's made himself very attractive with what he's done here."
With Tinsley's health a big question mark and the possibility of dangling Ron's return to intice him I think it could be a good pickup. I'm not a big fan of his attitude but he's healthier than Tins and better than AJ or Gill.
Well he is making 5.5 mio so there are few who can claim him off waivers, perhaps Boston will do, you never know, on the other hand, what can other teams offer, and what can we offer IF the brass wants him? we might want him, but we are not in LB or DW's shoes
On the other hand, does the team want him ?
So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.
If you've done 6 impossible things today?
Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!
we couid get payton possibly but only if chosses to go here thats the only way any team would love to have him as there starting or back up pg but you think payton wants a starting role or a buckup role on our team well i say he rather go on a team thats 3 in east standings and will let him start at pg.