Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.
When the Warriors held their Media Day back on Sept. 24, Patrick McCaw was nowhere to be found.
When they opened training camp the next day, McCaw did not report to the team's facility.
When they played their final preseason game on Oct. 12, the shooting guard was still M.I.A.
When the players and coaches and front-office executives received their 2018 NBA championship rings on opening night, McCaw was not at Oracle Arena.
The ship had sailed.
“Maybe I could just go back and finish, just go back for a year, see what happens, see where it took me,” McCaw recently told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. “I just felt like once it got past preseason, I was just adamant about not going back. I was just stuck right there.
"That’s when I was like, ‘I’m just not going.’ I made it this far and I missed preseason, I missed the season opener, I missed getting the rings. I’ve made it this far just based off of what I chose to do.
"And I believed in what I wanted to accomplish, and I just felt like we’re just going to ride it out and see how long it takes to October to November to December.”
The 23-year old rode it out until late December, when he finally received an offer sheet from the Cavaliers.
Golden State could have matched the contract and retained McCaw, but it would have cost them over $14 million for this season alone because of luxury tax penalties.
The Dubs declined and the shooting guard was off to Cleveland.
But not for long:
I suppose it’s possible that Patrick McCaw asked the Cavs to inflate the original non-guarantee to $3 million just so the Warriors wouldn’t match, and he knew Cleveland would waive him before the $3 million became guaranteed. He just wanted to be an unrestricted free agent... https://t.co/nfE32ljYZB— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 6, 2019
“I didn’t like how the media picked it up and ran with it, because I knew going in, signing it, that they could release me if they didn’t really like what they saw after the week,” McCaw told The Undefeated. “I didn’t like how the media portrayed it, like we had something lined up already.
"Yeah, that wasn’t the case at all.”
Well, the NBA did investigate the signing to see if there was any wrong-doing. The league determined there was no violation.
McCaw ultimately signed with the Raptors and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. But before he figures out his next contract, he gets to square off against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
“It’s going to be crazy, just the first game lining up against them,” McCaw said. “I haven’t played against them all season. I haven’t been there with them since we won in Cleveland. The last time I saw them, I was playing with the Warriors.
"The first game? A lot of emotions. I’m ready for it. I’m excited."