The fissure between Toronto Raptors guard Patrick McCaw and the Golden State Warriors is one with many layers to peel, a coalition of feelings that go beyond a salary and the length of contract, guarantees and bonuses. While his decision to play hardball with the defending champions was largely viewed as a puzzling one, it largely emanated from a desire to have a meaningful role and the minutes to prove his worth, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.
McCaw initially earned a spot in the rotation after being drafted with the 38th pick by the Milwaukee Bucks after being purchased by the Warriors in 2016. Then a rookie, McCaw showed promise and even followed through with spot starts throughout the season, showcasing his playmaking ability as a backup point guard, one he solidified with vital minutes during the playoffs.
The biggest challenge came when the Warriors decided to sign guard Nick Young with the mid-level exception, with head coach Steve Kerr shortly after calling it an open competition for the backup spot, putting McCaw’s role in question despite an encouraging first season.
After a potentially career-derailing injury late in the season, McCaw got a few garbage minutes in the late stretch of the 2018 playoffs, which served as little consolation for what felt like a year of regression, which only made his value plummet.
The Warriors were aggressive in the offseason, scooping up superstar center DeMarcus Cousins and versatile forward Jonas Jerebko, quickly readying 18 players entering training camp, as McCaw’s future remained in limbo despite a one-year, $1.7 million offer being extended.
“At this point, much of the behind-the-scenes conversation around the Warriors was about McCaw and what was going on. Nobody knew. The only understood complaint, according to multiple sources, was that he was unhappy with how Kerr distributed his minutes.”
McCaw went from a decently-effective multi-positional player to one struggling, as his hesitation to take 3-point shots with his acumen decreasing almost 10 percent. A tough break for a young player, one who ultimately didn’t want to risk being obscured by others with the chance at more opportunities under Kerr’s rotation.