NBA To Review Patrick McCaw’s Deal With Cavaliers

The NBA plans on formally reviewing the Cavaliers‘ signing and waiving of Patrick McCaw for possible salary cap circumvention, Mark Stein of The New York Times reports.

McCaw was a restricted free agent sitting under Warriors team control through most of the season as he sat out and waited for an offer from a rival club. The Cavaliers presented him with a two-year, $6MM offer sheet, which was non-guaranteed, and Golden State chose not to match it, leaving McCaw to join Cleveland.

The swingman was with the team less than a week before he was released, and some around the league suspect the move was designed to help McCaw get out from under the Warriors’ control rather than the Cavaliers actually wanting him on the team. Stein adds that the Warriors requested the investigation.

Stein notes that NBA teams are not allowed to make “unauthorized agreements” based on “expressed or implied” deals or include “promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent, or understandings of any kind” with respect to player contracts. Penalties can include fines in the $3-6MM range and could cost a team draft picks.

However, unless the Cavs or agent Bill Duffy tell the NBA that the two sides intentionally entered their agreement in an effort to eventually get McCaw to free agency, it seems unlikely that the league will come down hard on Cleveland. As Joe Vardon of The Athletic observes, the Cavs have a good alibi for taking a flier on McCaw, in the form of a “roster in shambles.”

The Cavs have expressed interest in re-signing McCaw to a cheaper deal if he clears waivers. He made roughly $323K during his brief stint in Cleveland.

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36 thoughts on “NBA To Review Patrick McCaw’s Deal With Cavaliers

  1. Z-A

    Why would he agree to some mind of wink wink deal to get released and ultimately make less than he would have gotten from GSW?

      • Z-A

        He needs to find a situation where he can ball out to make anything beyond min next year. Slim to none and slim left town.

    • CobiEven

      He can sign a guaranteed deal now I believe. He basically got himself free agency earlier than the players he got drafted with. He may get less pay the next two years but he may find more minutes to get him better paid over the long haul this way. The McCaw situation has fascinated me this year.

    • Hawthorne Wingo

      A favor to the agent, Bill Duffy. For future quid pro quo. It was obvious the second the Cavaliers extended the offer sheet. Charlotte didn’t extend a restricted free agent offer sheet to Anderson Varejao because they wanted him, they extended it as a favor to his agent to get Varejao signed and into unrestricted free agency early.

    • CobiEven

      I understand GSW filed the complaint, but he does not really matter to them. I think the more pressing issue is that the NBA does not have more players doing this in the future. Also the complaint was filed probably because it was the Cavs that did this to stick it to the warriors. I think the warriors are just returning the favor.

    • moazetongue

      Cavs needed a pg with Delly out. McCaw wasn’t that. So they let him go and went for Payne. Warriors showing their lack of class got upset and began to cry like little babies they are. They’ve done it to other teams but don’t like it when they lose a Guy.

      • The Warriors aren’t crying. They just won 3 of 4 championships over the Cavs.

        • bigguccisosa300

          Lol right ?? Warriors aren’t crying. Just some petty non issue stuff. Good for Patrick for getting his UFA

      • pihc

        I agree Moaze. It was the warriors that complained to the NBA. And there was that thing with Anderson Varejoa when the Cavs won the ship. 3-1

  2. natsfan3437

    It would be funny if they lose the 1st round pick they have been tanking for.

  3. Michael Chaney

    It’s possible (maybe likely) that the Cavs did that, but finding evidence to prove it would be difficult. Also, the Warriors had the chance to match his offer and declined; the Cavs didn’t “poison pill” them.

  4. LivingUnderDaBridge

    I’m starting a rumour that I am a restricted free agent who’s rights are controlled by the Warriors. See if the cavs pay out 350000 for a week of my services too.

    Worth a shot right?

    • Nebraska Tim

      Gilbert is amongst the worst owners in the league… though to his credit he did at least put up the $ for a winning team with LeBron.

      But as an owner and a person he sucks, that much is obvious.

  5. Otogar

    This is absurd. Teams hire and immediately waive players they are not interested in all the time, for a variety of reasons (see Carter-Williams). Moreover, Payne was waived after McCaw’s offer sheet was signed, so the Cavs can argue they wanted McCaw but then preferred Payne when he became available, and there’s no way the NBA can prove otherwise. This is just a warning to other teams, like the tampering announcement the other day.

  6. Last time I checked the Warriors won the championships in 2014-15, 2016-17, and 2017-18.
    The Lakers are 20-17 and in 8th place in the western conference with ironman LeBron James on the sidelines and his former team once again with a shot at the top draft pick. Fans of his former team refuse to acknowledge that Kyrie Irving scored 30 or more points in 3 of the games in the 2015-16 championship and hit the championship winning 3 point shot. Supposedly part of the reason his dad wanted him out of Cleveland. Go Warriors.

    • Michael Chaney

      No one denies that Kyrie was the one to hit the clutch shot at the end of game 7. What does any of that have to do with this?

    • LordBanana

      How you make an article about McCaw into one about LeBron and Kyrie is impressive. Do you just think about LeBron all day?

  7. This is all smoke and mirrors with a little truth behind it.

    Did the Cavs sign McCaw and release him as a favour to his agent or to stick it to the Warriors, likely.

    Can the Cavs present a legitimate argument that they signed him, has a PG injury and then released him to pick up another PG, yes.

    Does the league really care that deeply about this instance, probably not.

    Will the league do enough of an “investigation” to scare off other teams from doing this in the future, yes.

    • x%sure

      Nice list, but it’s important to add, that Mccaw got a 3-game audition and blew it. It was like a 10-day contract. The Cavs found McCaw is as he is, a non-player, not what he was, a promising player. They could legally bail at that point and did.

  8. Oh please! This is the same Warriors team that gave Curry a no-trade clause, disregarding the rule of no “promises”. They only care when another team is doing the same thing.

  9. darquee

    In the end one thing that everyone can agree is objectively true is that Patrick McCaw sucks as a basketball player.

  10. Baileyg3rd

    Billy Duffy try too low ball them boy’s! He did that with my cousin D-Mac and cost him his NBA contract!

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