Marcus Thompson posted a comprehensive piece on The Athletic Friday, detailing the Patrick McCaw saga and the events that led to his bizarre, and mostly unexplained, exit from the team this season.
The piece doesn’t provide a clear reason for why things soured to the point of McCaw refusing to return to the Warriors in 2018, an answer we’ll probably never have unless we get it from McCaw himself. It did however provide two interesting nuggets that may have played a part in McCaw’s desire to leave.
The first was the team’s decision to sign Nick Young during the 2017 offseason, after McCaw had reportedly believed he’d earned the backup guard spot with his play during his rookie year.
“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. McCaw was confident coming in after a good summer. It wasn’t as productive as the summer of 2017, when he played well at Summer League and had a good showing at Tim Grgurich’s camp for young players. But he was healthy again and feeling good. Having to compete for minutes with Young, who came into camp out of shape, seems to have harmed McCaw’s trust in the Warriors.”
Additionally, McCaw was reportedly not happy with Steve Kerr’s rotations last season. The Warriors believed the issue “seemed fixable with a conversation” but McCaw largely went dark at the tail end of last offseason, with both the front office and his teammates being met with silence upon reaching out.
After a promising rookie season and sophomore slump in year two, McCaw never reported to training camp during the offseason, apparently holding out in the hopes that another team would offer him more than the Warriors’ $1.7 million qualifying offer, and Golden State’s subsequent two-year deal worth 5.2 million.
McCaw continued the holdout once the regular season started, and eventually signed a non-guaranteed two-year deal with the Cavaliers, that lasted a week before he was released. The Toronto Raptors signed him shortly thereafter for the veteran’s minimum.