Patrick McCaw

Warriors Notes: Offseason, Cousins, McCaw

Within an article looking ahead to the Warriors‘ offseason plans, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst cites sources who say that the franchise is internally projecting a nine-figure increase in revenue when it moves to the Chase Center in San Francisco next season. In other words, Golden State won’t hesitate to re-sign Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to lucrative new deals even if it pushes the club way into luxury-tax territory for the next few years.

Of course, while Thompson is considered a strong bet to stick with the Warriors, there’s no guarantee that Durant will follow suit, so Windhorst’s article focuses in large part on what the front office’s Plan B will be if Durant signs elsewhere. As Windhorst outlines, retaining Thompson is a must in that scenario, and it might make sense for the Dubs to take a long look at Draymond Green‘s future. Green will be eligible for free agency in 2020 and will likely be seeking a substantial raise, so Golden State may want to decide in advance whether it makes sense to invest in him long-term.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • DeMarcus Cousins remains on track to make his Warriors debut this Friday in Los Angeles, head coach Steve Kerr confirmed on Tuesday (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Cousins is expected to immediately slide into the starting lineup at the five upon his return from an Achilles tear.
  • Even before he began his rehabilitation, Cousins spent time talking to a number of current and former NBA players who suffered Achilles tears to learn how to best approach his recovery and healing process, writes Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group. “I wasn’t really looking for a specific answer to get through it,” Cousins said. “I wanted to see what each guy’s mindset was and compare it to my own.”
  • After the Warriors lost Patrick McCaw to the Cavaliers – and then the Raptors – Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic took a deep dive into McCaw’s time in Oakland to try to pin down exactly why the young wing wanted to leave. According to Thompson, the first issue that harmed McCaw’s trust in the Warriors was when they brought in Nick Young during 2017’s free agent period and declared an open competition for the backup shooting guard spot, since he felt he had earned those minutes with his play in 2016/17.

NBA Concludes McCaw Investigation, Finds No CBA Violations

The NBA announced today in a press release that it has concluded its investigation into the Cavaliers‘ signing – and subsequent release – of Patrick McCaw. According to the announcement, the league found that there was no violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, including the anti-circumvention rules.

McCaw, the final restricted free agent of 2018’s class, held out for most of the first half of the season before signing a two-year, $6MM offer sheet with the Cavaliers. The offer sheet was non-guaranteed, but was signed just a week and a half before all salaries for 2018/19 would become guaranteed — if the Warriors had matched, they would have had to pay McCaw his full $3MM salary for this season or waive him within about a week, putting him in line for unrestricted free agency.

Golden State opted not to match the offer sheet, so McCaw became a Cavalier. However, his stint in Cleveland only lasted for about a week, as the Cavs released him before the league-wide salary guarantee deadline. The third-year shooting guard subsequently signed a minimum salary contract with the Raptors once he became an unrestricted free agent.

Once the Cavs parted ways with McCaw, it looked suspiciously like the team had done his agent a solid, paving the way for the 23-year-old to become an unrestricted free agent. It also didn’t hurt that Cleveland’s series of transactions cost the rival Warriors an asset.

The NBA looked into the matter and could have levied fines or lost-draft-pick penalties on the Cavs if there was evidence of wrongdoing, but that outcome was always unlikely. Given their injury-ravaged roster, the Cavs had a clear motive for signing McCaw. And given his poor audition for the team – 1.7 PPG on 22.2% shooting in three games (17.7 MPG) – Cleveland also had an obvious motive for moving on from him last week.

Even though the Cavs have been cleared in this instance, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the league and the players’ union revisits this issue at some point. ESPN’s Bobby Marks suggests (via Twitter) that it might make sense, in the next CBA, to require the first year of offer sheets to be fully guaranteed. Another option, per Marks, would be to prohibit a player from re-signing with the team that waives him after signing him to a non-guaranteed offer sheet (ie. McCaw would have been ineligible to re-sign with the Cavs after being cut).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Porzingis, Kurucs, McCaw, Tsai

Kristaps Porzingis has missed nearly an entire calendar year since he suffered a torn ACL but his recovery is going well, Newsday’s Steve Popper writes. The Latvian is expected to miss the Knicks‘ four-day trip to London next week when the team faces the Wizards, but Porzingis’ recent practices have been encouraging.

“I don’t see a drop,” head coach David Fizdale said. “That I don’t see. I haven’t seen him move in a way that makes me go “uh-oh.” I think we’re going about it the right way. His body looks great. He looks strong, he’s defined. It’s just a matter of time, and when we get him, we’ll be happy.”

As we relayed on Friday, Porzingis has passed the point of meeting the starter criteria for restricted free agency this summer. Thus, the Knicks’ qualifying offer drops from $7.5MM to $4.5MM. His cap hold will be $17.1MM and he will qualify for a $158MM contract over five years with a starting salary set at $27.25MM.

The Knicks, currently 10-32 in the Eastern Conference, are setting themselves up for a top-five draft pick this summer. A healthy Porzingis would go a long way to helping New York compete next season.

Check out more Atlantic Division notes:

  • Fellow Latvian Rodions Kurucs has fared well for the Nets after being selected 40th overall in the second round this past summer. Kurucs has been solid on both sides of the ball and eclipsed both his and the team’s expectations, Chris Milholen and Net Income of NetsDaily write.
  • Patrick McCaw‘s first few months of the season have been eventful. He sat out the start of the year as he looked to maximize his earnings from the Warriors as an RFA, then signed an offer sheet with Cleveland. However, days later, the Cavaliers waived him. After signing with the Raptors, he’s thrilled with the new opportunity, Laura Armstrong of The Toronto Star writes.
  • Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai is reportedly close to acquiring the WNBA’s New York Liberty, the AP’s Doug Fienberg reports. Tsai purchased 49% of the Nets in April 2018 and the James Dolan-owned Liberty — which were placed for sale in November 2017 — are close to being added to his portfolio.

Atlantic Notes: Hezonja, McCaw, Sixers, Morris

Mario Hezonja is seeing fewer minutes on the court this season with the Knicks, but that hasn’t stopped the 23-year-old from enjoying his time in New York, Steve Popper of Newsday relays. Hezonja is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“No, no, no. I love New York. As I said, this coaching staff, I wish I had them in my rookie year,” Hezonja said. “I’m not saying anything about what I had. It was just rough and unfortunate situation what happened to me. I wish they were my coaching staff in my rookie year. We’d be talking a different story right now. 

“Yeah, I’m happy to be around them. Even when I wasn’t playing, I just said, how important they were for me and how much room I still have for growth, for learning the game and all that stuff, so it’s big time for me. I love this team. I love everybody over here. I was surprised as soon as I came here. I’m focusing only on here. This is not a typical BS talk. ‘I’m only thinking about this, I don’t know what it’s gonna be.’ I know. This is it. I love this. I want to be in New York.”

Along with Hezonja, other Knicks players set to reach unrestricted free agency this summer include Enes KanterNoah Vonleh and Trey Burke. Hezonja is averaging 7.6 points and 17.8 minutes per game on the season, shooting 40% from the floor and an underwhelming 29% from 3-point range.

New York is reportedly exploring trades for several players ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline, but Hezonja’s name has yet to surface as a candidate.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division today:

  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines how the NBA’s roster rules brought the Raptors to sign Patrick McCaw as a free agent. The Cavaliers waived McCaw days after signing him in restricted free agency, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent and sign with any team. McCaw is expected to provide backcourt depth for the Raptors as they ready themselves for a deep postseason run.
  • The Sixers still hope to re-sign Jimmy Butler this summer despite the team’s recent drama, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes. Lowe provided details on Butler’s comments to Brett Brown at a recent 76ers film session, with Butler reportedly speaking up for himself and teammate T.J. McConnell. McConnell, who’s averaging 20.7 minutes per game, also voiced his concerns during the session when Brown asked if anyone else had something to add, Lowe notes.
  • Celtics forward Marcus Morris relayed the importance of winning as his major long-term focus, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports. Morris, who’s making $5.3MM this season, is also set to become a free agent this summer. “That’s all I care about; winning,” Morris said. “That other stuff, the big-money contract, being in the conversation for All-Star, none of that happens if you’re not winning. So for me, that’s what all this is about, keeping finding ways to win.”

Raptors Sign Patrick McCaw

JANUARY 10: Patrick McCaw has officially signed his one-year contract with the Raptors, according to the NBA’s transactions log. McCaw was waived by the Cavaliers on Monday, allowing him to enter unrestricted free agency and sign with any team.

JANUARY 9: Shooting guard Patrick McCaw will sign with the Raptors, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. McCaw, who cleared waivers today, will receive a one-year deal worth $786K, the pro-rated amount of the veterans’ minimum, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The signing will end an eventful two-week odyssey for McCaw that will eventually leave him right where he started. Because he is set to sign a one-year contract, he will become a restricted free agent again at the end of the season if the Raptors submit a qualifying offer, and the team will be able to match any offer he receives.

McCaw had been waiting for a contract since July, but nothing materialized until December 28 when the Cavaliers signed him to a non-guaranteed offer sheet worth $6MM over two years. The Warriors elected not to match, sending him to Cleveland, but only for a few days. The Cavs waived McCaw on Sunday, paying him about $323K for his brief stay with the team.

McCaw spent his first two NBA seasons with Golden State, but turned down a qualifying offer from the team over the summer and a subsequent two-year, $5.2MM offer with only a guarantee on the first year. That still would have paid him substantially more than he will make in about a half season with the Cavs and Raptors. McCaw explained that he didn’t want to re-sign with the Warriors because he was seeking “a new opportunity.”

The NBA plans to review the unusual way that Cleveland handled the McCaw situation. There are accusations that the Cavaliers circumvented the salary cap, signing McCaw only so he could have a path toward unrestricted free agency with no intention of keeping him. The franchise faces fines or a loss of draft picks if the league determines something inappropriate happened. McCaw played just three games during his time in Cleveland, averaging 1.7 PPG.

The expected signing will bring Toronto back to the league minimum of 14 players and increase the team’s projected luxury tax bill by $2.56MM to $34.74MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The bill was at $34.5MM before Lorenzo Brown was waived on Monday.

NBA To Talk With McCaw’s Representatives

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.

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.

Teams Interested In Patrick McCaw

“About four” teams are interested in acquiring Patrick McCaw, who was waived by the Cavaliers yesterday, a source tells Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Cleveland is believed to be among that group, although some playoff contenders have expressed interest as well.

The source isn’t clear on whether any team intends to claim McCaw off waivers or if they will all wait for him to become an unrestricted free agent. Anyone who claims McCaw would inherit the two-year, $6MM contract he signed with Cleveland last week, but the current season would become fully guaranteed.

The Cavs’ deal with McCaw turned out to be a way to get him out of his commitment to Golden State. As the final remaining restricted free agent, any offer that McCaw received could have been matched by the Warriors. By signing him to a non-guaranteed deal, Cleveland gave him a path to unrestricted free agency with a minimal financial commitment.

McCaw played just three games for Cleveland, averaging 1.3 PPG in 17.7 minutes per night. In addition to doing McCaw a favor, the Cavs wanted to open a roster spot to add point guard Cameron Payne, who signed a 10-day deal with the team yesterday.

Cavaliers Waive Patrick McCaw

5:24pm: The Cavs have officially waived McCaw, according to a press release from the club.

3:35pm: The Cavaliers are planning to waive guard Patrick McCaw, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. McCaw signed a non-guaranteed two-year, $6MM offer sheet with the team in restricted free agency, appearing in just three games.

Several playoff contenders are expected to express interest in McCaw, according to Charania, who adds that Cleveland will also be interested once he reaches free agency. The move allows McCaw to enter unrestricted free agency once he clears waivers in 48 hours, although there’s an outside chance he gets claimed on waivers by the end of Sunday, Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated reports (Twitter link).

“I bet on myself and stayed positive,” McCaw said shortly after signing in Cleveland following months of failed negotiations with the Warriors, as relayed by Tom Withers of AP. “A lot of guys in my position being 22 or 23 years old probably would never take that chance because they don’t know what the outcome could possibly be. I know I had injuries and things like that last season and I’ve just been continuing to work and get better and constantly make strides within myself. That’s how I’ve always been. Just focusing on myself, getting better within myself and telling myself I can be great at this game.”

McCaw, 23, appeared in 57 contests with the Warriors last season as a reserve guard. He held per-game averages of four points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 41% from the floor. Golden State traded for McCaw during the 2016 NBA Draft, beginning his two-season run with the team.

Patrick McCaw Wanted “A New Opportunity”

Patrick McCaw couldn’t come up with an easy explanation for why he wanted to leave the Warriors, other than saying he was looking for “a new opportunity,” writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

McCaw got his wish last night when Golden State elected not to match the two-year, $6MM offer sheet he received from the Cavaliers. McCaw went through his first practice with Cleveland today, after which Vardon asked him the obvious question: Why didn’t he want to stay with an organization where he won two rings in his first two NBA seasons?

“I loved playing in Golden State,” McCaw responded. “My teammates, the coaches, it was nothing really … nothing stands out to me to say I didn’t want to go back. Think it was just a personal thing where I was just like, I think it was time for me to move on for a new opportunity within myself. Nothing against Golden State, front office, coaches, players, the environment, it had nothing to do with any of that. It’s just a personal thing, and I wanted a new opportunity to move on.”

McCaw went from the two-time defending champs to the team with the league’s worst record. He also made the move without any guaranteed money. Neither year of his offer sheet carries a guarantee, although all NBA contracts will be fully guaranteed for the rest of the season for players who remain on the roster beyond January 7.

As the league’s last remaining restricted free agent, McCaw has been waiting for an offer sheet since July. He turned down the Warriors’ $1.7MM qualifying offer and a subsequent two-year, $5.2MM offer with only the first year guaranteed. The “new opportunity” he had been seeking finally came Friday from the Cavaliers, who need reinforcements after a rash of injuries.

McCaw gets a chance to prove himself again as an NBA player after a disappointing second season and a frightening fall that kept him out of action from March to May. Cavaliers coach Larry Drew plans to play him right away, although he still needs to get into game shape and learn the team’s playbook.

“I took a different approach to this whole situation,” McCaw admits. “I was uncertain if I would get an offer sheet or anything. But being positive in myself and knowing something would come. I can’t really look back on the last two months and how I handled the whole situation, I can only continue to focus on now and the future. That’s all I’m waiting for.”