After two seasons playing for the championship-winning Golden State Warriors, Patrick McCaw quietly entered free agency after the 2017-18 NBA season, signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers toward the end of 2018, but only playing three games before getting cut. A new report, however, has offered some information on what might have led McCaw to leave the Warriors without fanfare, despite oftentimes playing a key role for the team as a backup shooting guard.
Writing for the subscription-only sports publication the Athletic on Friday, Marcus Thompson reported that the “good feelings” McCaw had in the 2017 offseason didn’t last long, as the 23-year-old former second-round draft pick discovered that the Warriors had signed veteran Nick Young as a free agent, leaving his role “up in the air.” As quoted by NBC Sports, it didn’t help either that the Warriors signed sixth man Andre Iguodala, who plays both shooting guard and small forward positions, to a three-year contract extension around that time.
“When training camp opened, coach Steve Kerr, without knowing it, might have made the situation worse by declaring an open competition for the backup shooting guard spot. According to insiders, this was the first grievance McCaw had with the Warriors and it is about the only tangible issue that has been vocalized.”
Commenting on Thompson’s report for the Athletic, NBC Sports justified the Golden State Warriors’ decision to sign Young by noting that the team needed a proven shooter off the bench. The 33-year-old Young, who most recently had a four-game stint playing limited minutes for the Denver Nuggets, averaged 7.3 points and shot 37.7 percent from three-point range for the Warriors in 2017-18, per Basketball-Reference.
“Did McCaw expect Kerr to announce to the world that he was the solidified backup shooting guard? Is that even a thing? Did McCaw think he flat out earned that distinction because of a rookie season in which he averaged 4.0 points per game and shot 33.3 percent from deep?” NBC Sports wrote.
Considering Patrick McCaw’s rumored desire to play point guard and the fact that the Warriors also signed Shaun Livingston to an extension in the summer of 2017, NBC Sports also speculated that McCaw might have been “irritated” by Livingston’s continued presence as Stephen Curry’s top reliever at point guard.
Regardless of the reasons why McCaw didn’t re-sign with the Warriors for the 2018-19 season, he appears to be ready to move forward, having signed a new contract with the Toronto Raptors this week. For his part, he recently commented on his decision to leave Golden State, telling a Raptors beat reporter that there wasn’t any bad blood between him and the team and that it was a “personal decision” for him to take his talents elsewhere, as noted by ClutchPoints.