Warriors

Patrick McCaw shares his feelings about facing Warriors in NBA Finals

Patrick McCaw shares his feelings about facing Warriors in NBA Finals

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Warriors wanted Patrick McCaw to be a part of their present and future. But he had other plans.

Back in late December, the guard got his wish -- to leave Golden State -- when the Dubs declined to match the offer sheet he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs waived him before his contract for the rest of the season became guaranteed, and McCaw ultimately signed with the Toronto Raptors.

And now, his opponent in the NBA Finals is the team that paid the Milwaukee Bucks $2.4 million for his draft rights back in 2016.

“I know it’s an unbelievable feeling,” McCaw told Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun after the Raptors beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night.  “The odds, you know, right? Just everything I went through this whole year. People trying to figure out what’s going on with me.

"So, it’s unbelievable to know that I get to play against my former team in the NBA Finals. You can’t script that, so I’m ready.”

As a rookie with the Dubs, McCaw appeared in 71 games (20 starts) and averaged 4.0 points per contest. Then, in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Spurs, he racked up 18 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals. In Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cavs, he made a couple of big buckets late in the third quarter.

It appeared Golden State found a steal in a second-round pick who would be with the franchise for years to come. But things went south in Year 2, and McCaw wanted a fresh start elsewhere.

"I loved playing in Golden State. My teammates, the coaches, it was nothing really … nothing stands out to me to say I didn’t want to go back," he told The Athletic on Dec. 31. "Think it was just a personal thing where I was just like, I think it was time for me to move on for a new opportunity within myself.

"Nothing against Golden State, front office, coaches, players, the environment, it had nothing to do with any of that. ... I just wanted to move on."

[RELATEDEx-Warrior West laughs at Swaggy P's tweet about McCaw]

And now his new squad has the chance to deny the Warriors a three-peat. 

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Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' dynasty isn't dead, 'far from over'

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Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' dynasty isn't dead, 'far from over'

All the national pundits and talking heads have danced on the grave of the Warriors' dynasty.

With Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston gone, and Klay Thompson out for a large portion of the upcoming season, most feel like the Warriors' reign of dominance is over.

But Thompson isn't listening to the noise. The Warriors might be down, but they aren't out.

"The dynasty ain't over," Klay said Friday during the second annual Thompson Family Foundation golf tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. "It's far from over."

After five season atop the NBA mountain, the Warriors are no longer the favorites to win the NBA title, and will look vastly different this season.

At the beginning of the season, Steph Curry and Draymond Green will be flanked by newcomers D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Instead of Durant at the starting small forward spot, coach Steve Kerr might go with Alfonzo McKinnie.

Super Death Lineup this is not.

Making matters tougher for the Warriors is the improvement of other teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers, Lakers, Jazz and Rockets all made blockbuster moves over the summer, while the Nuggets and Blazers return teams that were top-4 seeds in the West last season.

But once Thompson returns in February or March, the Warriors will be able to close games with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Russell, Green and Kevon Looney, who signed a three-year contract with the Warriors in the offseason.

[RELATED: Eight things Warriors need to do to make playoffs]

As Green said last week, no one will want to face the Warriors in the playoffs. That will be especially true if Thompson is 100 percent in April.

Durant isn't around anymore, but the dynasty isn't dead until Curry, Thompson and Green say it is.

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Kevin Durant came to the Warriors in 2016 in pursuit of a family and NBA titles.

Durant got the hardware in his first two seasons with the Warriors.

Despite all the winning the Warriors were able to do with Durant, he never quite felt like he was part of a family. It's quite possible that had something to do with the fact that he refused to commit long-term to the Warriors. It's hard for a family to accept you when you have one foot in the house and the other on the front porch.

After three seasons in the Bay Area, Durant left this offseason for the Brooklyn Nets, and he revealed to the Wall Street Jounal last week that he never felt like one of the guys.

NBA legend Magic Johnson can't begin to fathom Durant's logic.

"KD, I hope that he finds happiness," Johnson said on ESPN's First Take on Friday. "If you can't find happiness at Golden State, where are you going to find it at? First of all, give Steph Curry a lot of credit for saying 'I'm a two-time MVP, I'm willing to take a backseat because I want to win.' Give Klay Thompson a lot of credit, because you know who's game suffered the most? Klay Thompson. He used to get a lot more touches before KD got there and he said 'I'm OK with that as long as we win a championship.' Draymond Green, even he had to take a backseat.

"So, Kevin, if you won back-to-back titles, you won MVP of the Finals as well, where are you going to find happiness at? I just want him to find happiness because when I look at Michael Jordan, when I look at Kobe Bryant, this brother, Kevin Durant, is one of the greatest scorers we've seen in NBA history, so I just want him to be happy. I just don't know where he's going to find it at if he can't find it at Golden State."

We imagine every single Warriors fan feels the same way as Magic.

[RELATED: Durant shows no sign of limp]

Unlike Thunder fans, Warriors fans don't hold any ill will towards Durant. They're just puzzled by his decision to leave. He had everything he wanted in the Bay Area and Golden State could have offered more money. Yet he still decided to leave.

But maybe Durant will never be happy in the same spot for too long. It's possible that in three years, Brooklyn fans find themselves wondering why Durant wasn't happy, just like Warriors fans are right now.