Legend of Patrick McCaw already growing within Warriors' camp

Legend of Patrick McCaw already growing within Warriors' camp

OAKLAND – Always on the hyperactive prowl, seeking action, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob didn’t need to be persuaded to spend $2.4 million to buy his way into the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft.

Four days after seeing his team lose the NBA Finals – blowing a 3-1 series lead – Lacob grabbed his checkbook and filled out a check to the Milwaukee Bucks.

That’s how Patrick McCaw became a Warrior.

Discovered by vice president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk and assistant general manager Larry Harris, McCaw was selected 38th overall on June 23.

“Everyone was excited when we had the opportunity to get him,” general manager Bob Myers recalled to CSNBayArea.com on Monday. “He was a name that had been discussed. We didn’t have to guess who we were taking. There were a lot of McCaw fans in the room.”

Little more than three months later, the Legend of Patrick McCaw already is growing.

“He’s got a lot of promise,” Stephen Curry said of the rookie. “He’s going to help us this year for sure. I like his confidence. He doesn’t say much; he’s very quiet. But when you see his body language, he looks like he belongs. That’s half the battle.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who over the summer told CSNBayArea.com that McCaw had a chance to make the team’s regular playing rotation, on Monday said it’s “very uncommon” for a rookie to have such a sense of space and movement.

“But some guys just have that feel, instinctively, naturally,” Kerr said. “You don’t even have to teach them. Some guys have feel, some guys don’t. The first time you see them play, it’s easy to tell. That’s been the case with him.”

McCaw was the most impressive Warrior in their preseason opener Saturday night, coming off the bench to produce 11 points, five steals and four assists in 19 minutes. The 6-foot-7, 185-pound guard from UNLV looks capable of playing either guard spot and exhibited strong defensive chops.

“Pat played really well, to no surprise,” Draymond Green said. “Pat’s been playing well in training camp and already had a great summer league. He really understands the game. As this season continues on . . . I think he’s going to help us out a lot.”

Said Kevin Durant: “He’s really good. He’s got a nice feel for the game. He doesn’t get rattled out there. He doesn’t let anybody speed him up. And he’s really good with his hands. We’re going to need him to keep playing that way.”

For McCaw, his solid first impressions are an outgrowth maintaining a balance between confidence and humility. He fully believes in his ability, but has plenty of room in his mind for criticism and growth.

The St. Louis native wasn’t an AAU star. He wasn’t a 5-star recruit or even a spectacular summer camp discovery.

“I wasn’t going to those showcases that other kids were going to in seventh and eighth grade, getting their names out there that early” he said. “I was one of those kids, just a local kid, working with my dad, continuing to hone my talent. Over the years, I just continued to get better. I stayed in the gym and stayed consistent. That’s what got me here.”

McCaw’s father, Jeffery McCaw Sr. is a major influence, as is former UNLV star Stacey Augmon, whose defensive intensity can be seen in the rookie. McCaw carries a bit of a chip on his shoulder from not being highly recruited.

“I’m one of those kids you really don’t know about, and it’s still that way,” he said. “It’s always probably going to be that way until people start to realize that I know and understand the game. That’s just always been part of my life. I’ve always been an underdog. I’ve always been under the radar. And I’ve always had to prove myself. So that’s a role I’m going to continue to take.”

If such attitude sounds familiar, think back a few years to another Warriors second-round pick. A guy named Draymond Green, taken 35th overall in 2012, who has blossomed into an All-Star.

“If he turns out as good as Draymond,” Myers said, “then we’ll have something.”

Quinn Cook states his case for spot on Warriors playoff roster

Quinn Cook states his case for spot on Warriors playoff roster

Because it’s only two games against two of the worst teams in the NBA, it’s prudent to resist the temptation to fall in love with Quinn Cook.

Putting up Stephen Curry numbers in consecutive games does not make one Stephen Curry.

It’s impossible, though, not to clearly understand why the Warriors have consistently expressed faith in Cook, the two-way point guard who has spent three years trying to make an NBA team.

Two fine games are enough, though, for the coaching staff to recommend adding him to the postseason roster. It’s wise to have a contingency in case Curry has to miss any of the games that matter most, and the Warriors are a smart bunch.

Cook on Saturday told reporters in Phoenix that the Warriors have not addressed the possibility of being on the postseason roster. That doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it.

“He’s proven that he can compete at this level,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Saturday night in Phoenix. “The last couple games, you’re seeing what he can do. He’s a great shooter. We’ve known that."

Cook scored, on back-to-back nights, 25 and 28 points, shooting 70 percent (21-of-30) from the field, including 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from deep. That’s Curry-type quality when he’s on a roll. Cook also handled the ball well, recorded seven assists and was pesky enough on defense to nab five steals.

“Quinn is showing the world that he is an NBA player,” Draymond Green said.

Cook’s 10 3-pointers over the past two games are more than anybody not named Curry, Durant or Thompson have drained over a similar stretch -- and only Nick Young among the team’s reserves have made more over any single month.

The Warriors, it just so happens, are dead last in 3-pointers made by reserves, averaging 2.0 per game, with Young accounting for 1.5 per game.

Cook is showing he might be able to help with this.

Kerr loves 3-point shooters. General manager Bob Myers is fond of saying he can never have too many shooters.

The Warriors are discovering they can’t have too many capable point guards, particularly when Cook is proving that he, like Curry, also is comfortable playing off the ball. Pairing Cook with Shaun Livingston, the primary backup to Curry, is a nice option to have.

“I’ve said all along,” Green said. “I sit here and watch so many other teams play and I wonder, ‘How is Quinn Cook a two-way player?' And then you’ve got guys in the league that can’t dribble with their left hand, or can’t go left, can’t go right, but you’ve got a guy like that as a two-way player.

“So I’m happy for him. I pray that he gets rewarded and gets what he deserves.”

Cook had brief trial runs with the Pelicans, as a rookie, and the Mavericks last season. He played a total of 14 games with the two teams. He has played 21 with the Warriors, seven as a starter, but only in the last two has he looked entirely comfortable in his role and with these teammates.

With Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Curry out, the Warriors need Cook to score. He knows he needs to score. He is scoring. And doing a few other things, too.

“Playing in the NBA is something that I’ve dreamed of my whole life,” Cook said after his 28-point performance in a win over the Suns. “I can’t really put it into words, just being able to put on an NBA jersey night in and night out, practice with an NBA team every day, has been my goal since I can remember. I’m just trying to get better every day and live in the moment. I’m just trying to win games. I’m trying to help out as much as possible, whether it’s getting guys shots, playing defense, shooting the ball.

“Lately the ball’s been going in a little bit. But with three All-Stars out, I’ve got to step up. I’m just taking it game by game and competing night in and night out.”

Sometime early next month, if not late this month, the Warriors expect to have their starting backcourt. Curry and Thompson will have returned before the playoffs begin April 14-15, and both will need to be available if for reasonable chance to repeat as champs.

But Cook is making his case for inclusion. He’ll get another test Monday night in San Antonio, where Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is sure to throw at Cook a few wrinkles he may not have seen, but the Warriors have seen enough to know he can help.

“He’s a good fit for us, too,” Kerr said. “It’s not just his ability. It’s his maturity. He’s very professional, does whatever is asked, the guys love him. They want to go to war with him.

“He’s a guy. He’s an NBA guy. We’re lucky to have him.”

That’s not an demand, or even a preference. To add Cook to the roster, the Warriors would have to shed one of their 15 players currently on a standard NBA contract.

But somewhere among Kerr’s words, I believe I see an endorsement.

Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns

The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, their roster is in shambles and, still, they look like pure gold in contrast to the Suns team they’re facing Saturday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

Reeling from the absences of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (52-17) showed plenty of the scrap in losing to the Kings on Friday in Oakland but couldn’t get much offense from their veterans.

The Suns (19-51) are having the worst season since 1968-69, their inaugural season. They’ve lost seven in a row, 16 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 23.


Warriors by 3


Quinn Cook vs. Elfrid Payton: Payton bolted to a 16-point first quarter and scored 29 the last time he faced the Warriors. Quinn is coming off a career-high 25-point game. With teams relying on diminished rosters, whichever of the two young PGs can set a tone gives his team an advantage.


Warriors: G Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus tear) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL tear) is listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3.

Suns: 1-9.


Tony Brothers (crew chief), Jacyn Goble, James Williams


The Warriors won the first of four meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 at Oracle Arena. They swept all four games last season and are 12-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.


MOTIVATED VETS: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young, expected to generate offense, combined to shoot 19-of-59 (32.2 percent) in a five-point loss Friday. They must be better; they can’t be much worse. Phoenix leads the NBA in points allowed.

THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee started nine straight games at center, but Pachulia started the last two. The Suns are long up front, so McGee could be in line for a start or more minutes. In addition, Damian Jones, the team’s other 7-footer, also could get playing time.

STREAKING WITH THREES: The Suns own the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-point make (1,128). The Warriors are No. 2 (1,121). Both streaks are endangered. Curry, Thompson and Durant are out for the Warriors. Booker will either sit out or play with a splint on his shooting hand.