The NBA will speak to representatives for Patrick McCaw tomorrow as part of its investigation into whether the Cavaliers acted improperly in signing him to a non-guaranteed offer sheet and waiving him shortly afterward, writes Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News.
McCaw spent barely a week with Cleveland and appeared in three games after agreeing to a two-year, $6MM offer sheet that the Warriors elected not to match. Cleveland didn’t guarantee any money in the offer, so the club was only on the hook for about $323K. The decision to release him a day before this season’s $3MM salary would have guaranteed led to accusations that the Cavs only gave McCaw the offer as a way to make him an unrestricted free agent and give him a way out of Golden State.
Shortly after clearing waivers today, McCaw agreed to join the Raptors on a veteran’s minimum contract for the rest of the season. His representatives contacted about eight other teams before settling on the deal with Toronto, according to Medina.
The Cavaliers face severe penalties, including fines and possible loss of draft picks, if the league determines they violated the collective bargaining agreement. However, their recent roster chaos gives them a strong defense, contends Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
Cleveland had just nine healthy players on December 28 when it extended the offer sheet to McCaw. One of the starters that night was two-way player Jaron Blossomgame, while fellow two-way player Jalen Jones was on the bench. The Cavs needed extra wing players because Rodney Hood was sidelined with Achilles soreness and David Nwaba was out with lower leg injuries.
During McCaw’s first game in Cleveland, Matthew Dellavedova was injured while stepping on another player’s foot, leaving the team without a backup point guard. The Cavaliers bolstered that position by waiving McCaw and signing former Bull Cameron Payne.
“I don’t think it was as much what didn’t happen [with McCaw], it was really mostly what we needed,” coach Larry Drew said. “With Delly going down, we really didn’t have a backup point. I had to throw Alec [Burks] in there as backup point, and that wasn’t really fair to him. So we made the decision.”
Vardon adds that under the circumstances, it would be difficult to build a strong case against the franchise unless McCaw or agent Bill Duffy admits that an under-the-table agreement was in place.