The long Patrick McCaw saga appears to be nearing a conclusion.
The Warriors' restricted free agent wing is signing a two-year, $6 million offer sheet with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday.
Golden State restricted agent Patrick McCaw is signing an offer sheet with Cleveland today, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 28, 2018
Golden State Warriors restricted free agent Pat McCaw is signing a two years, $6M offer sheet with the Cleveland Cavaliers, per league sources.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 28, 2018
McCaw effectively has held out from joining the Warriors this season, choosing not to sign a contract with the defending back-to-back NBA champions. He reportedly has been working out in St. Louis, and now has a contract offer in hand from the rebuilding Cavs.
As McCaw is a restricted free agent, the Warriors can match any offer and retain him if they so choose. Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that the Warriors are unlikely to match the offer due to financial reasons. Once McCaw officially signs the offer sheet, the Warriors will have two days to make their decision, per the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
Matching the Cavs' offer would cost the Warriors more than just the $6 million. ESPN's Bobby Marks reported that doing so also would cost the team an additional $11.3 million in the NBA's luxury tax.
Matching the Patrick McCaw offer sheet would see the Golden St. tax bill increase from $50.3M to $61.6M.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) December 28, 2018
The Cavs deal is non-guaranteed, per Wojnarowski, so if the Warriors match the offer, they could waive McCaw before Jan. 7 without being responsible for his remaining salary.
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In two years with the Warriors, McCaw, 23, averaged 4.0 points per game, but he still has potential. He played significant minutes in the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cavs as a rookie, including in the fourth quarter of the clinching game, and he also was part of the 2018 team that again defeated Cleveland for the league title.
But if he were to return to the Warriors, the UNLV product would have to mend relationships with the players and coaching staff who have gone through a roller-coaster season while McCaw has sat out.
One player told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson back in October: "You can’t do this after two years. You’ve got to get the clout first. He doesn’t have the leverage." Another player told Thompson: "I don't know what he's doing. I don't understand. But I don’t take it as personal. He has to do what’s best for him. It’s just weird."
McCaw reportedly declined a two-year, $5.2 million offer from Golden State before the season started, and it's been made clear he'd rather continue his career elsewhere.
The ball now is in the Warriors' hands, as they decide whether or not to match the offer. We’ll see what they choose to do.