Coming off a season where his shooting regressed, plus he missed time with a broken wrist and a scary late-season fall, Golden State reserve wing Patrick McCaw still had two-year offer on the table from the Warriors, a little over $2 million the first season and nearing $3 million the second season but on a team option. He did not sign it.
McCaw also had a $1.7 million qualifying offer on the table from Golden State, meaning he would play at that figure this season then be a restricted free agent next summer. McCaw didn’t sign that either.
Instead, he is remaining a restricted free agent. Why turn down the money? Because he wants to force his way out to a place he can get more minutes, reports Anthony Slater at The Athletic.
This isn’t as much about money for McCaw as it is about opportunity. Sources indicate that both McCaw and his father, Jeff, who has become a vocal part of this process, believe a more expansive role is the best thing for his growth and eventual earning potential.
Taking the family member’s advice over the professional agent, that usually ends about as well as the phrases “my girlfriend says we need to talk” and “George Lucas has some ideas about the next Star Wars movie.”
Are there really more minutes out there for McCaw out there? Sources I asked didn’t seem terribly confident there is, especially for a role player trying to push his way out of a winning and player-friendly situation. But maybe on a developing team there could be a more consistent backup role — that, however, is apparently not enough for McCaw.
It’s not just about the minute total, though that’s important. It’s about role. With the Warriors, McCaw is in line to get decent run on the league’s most high-profile team, available to showcase himself on the biggest stage, just like he did two seasons ago as a rookie contributor in the Game 5 championship closeout over the Cavaliers, when his stock was at its highest. That sounds like a very appealing one-year path for a 22-year-old trying to revive his diminished value.
But that’s as a bit piece with limited playmaking responsibility and no guaranteed nightly role, not the 25-ish minutes per game and freedom to create he craves.
Those kinds of minutes and freedom are earned, and McCaw — who was injured, shot 28.3 percent from three last season, with a well below averaged 47.7 true shooting percentage, shot 20 percent as a pick-and-roll ball handler and less than that in isolation — is not going to get them anywhere right now. The logical move would have been to come back to the Warriors for a season, show he was healthy and ready to take the next step, then hit free agency at age 23 with options. Now… he doesn’t have many.
The Warriors control the process and have no motivation to resolve this situation quickly, other than to do away with the minor distraction. Right now, they are looking at their other wing options. And McCaw sits.