Patrick McCaw has baffled some of his teammates during his contract standoff with the Warriors, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. McCaw sat out all of training camp and the preseason and isn’t returning calls from players who have reached out to him.
The third-year guard went through the summer without accepting a $1.7MM qualifying offer the team made shortly after last season ended. The Warriors responded with an offer that includes a starting salary in excess of $2MM, along with a second year that is non-guaranteed. McCaw’s representatives have reportedly been urging him to take either that deal or the QO, but so far he hasn’t budged.
“You can’t do this after two years,” an unidentified teammate said. “You’ve got to get the clout first. He doesn’t have the leverage.”
McCaw’s options are limited. As a restricted free agent, Golden State can match any offer he receives from another team. With virtually the entire league operating either over or near the salary cap, McCaw isn’t likely to receive an offer at this point that’s large enough for the Warriors to let him leave.
If he opts to sit out the entire season, Golden State will still keep his rights and he won’t be any closer to unrestricted free agency.
“He’s a man and I support his decision to handle his business how he sees fit,” one of the team’s young players told Thompson. “I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t understand. But I don’t take it as personal. He has to do what’s best for him. It’s just weird.”
The Warriors have been keeping a roster spot open for McCaw, but that may now go to Alfonzo McKinnie, who agreed to a two-year contract on Friday. Golden State had been counting on McCaw to be the primary backup to Klay Thompson, especially with Nick Young no longer on the roster. Rookie Jacob Evans filled that role during the preseason, but wasn’t particularly effective.
Thompson believes management and the players would still welcome McCaw back if he has a change of heart, but time is running short. Teammates are confused by the way he has handled this offseason and some are concerned about his well-being.
“There has to be something else going on,” one player said. “Has to be. I hope he’s all right.”