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Oakland native Gary Payton, unsigned for 2007-08 after playing last season with the Miami Heat, will make a decision about his future within the next few days, his agent said last week.

One option he might consider would be to try to play an 18th and final NBA season with his hometown Warriors.

Aaron Goodwin said his client is training to stay in shape but has not settled on which direction to take his career.

"He's deciding if he's going to take another crack at playing one more season, or maybe go to Seattle and work in some sort of management position, or go into TV color commentary," Goodwin said.

Payton, who turned 39 this summer, has been unavailable for comment.

Goodwin said there have been no talks yet with potential teams, including the Warriors.

"He definitely has thoughts of going back and giving it one more shot in Miami," Goodwin said. "If that didn't work, he'd like to play for a West Coast team, the Warriors being one of them. It'd be great to retire in Oakland."

The Warriors currently have no roster room, with the maximum 15 players signed to guaranteed contracts headed into training camp next month.

Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star point guard and one of the league's greatest defensive players during his prime, grew up in Oakland and starred at Skyline High School.

Payton played the past two seasons with the Heat, winning his first NBA championship in 2006. But his playing time dwindled last season when he averaged just 5.3 points and 3.0 assists, both career-lows.


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"He just doesn't feel like he went out the way he'd like to," Goodwin said.

Chris Mullin, the Warriors' executive vice president for basketball operations, would not address the possibility that Payton could wind up in Oakland but said through a team spokesman, "I've always been a big admirer of Gary Payton. He's certainly been one of the premier point guards in the NBA for many years and in my mind is a sure-fire Hall of Famer."

If Payton opts against playing again, he likely will explore either returning to the Sonics in some sort of management role or doing TV work.

Payton played the first 121/2 seasons of his career in Seattle and is the franchise's career scoring leader.

Known for his "trash-talking" on the floor, Payton has TV experience as a regular guest on FSN's "Best Damn Sports Show Period."

Payton finished last season as the No. 26 all-time scorer in NBA history with 21,813 points. Only Oscar Robertson has scored more points among point guards.

Nicknamed "The Glove," Payton is No. 3 all-time in career steals (2,445) and No. 6 in assists (8,966) and is the only player in NBA history with at least 20,000 points, 8,000 assists and 2,000 steals.

Contact Jeff Faraudo at jeffscribe@aol.com.