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.
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
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."
And now his new squad has the chance to deny the Warriors a three-peat.
In the Eastern Conference playoffs, Pat McCaw scored a total of 2 points in 36 minutes. It would be wild if he all of a sudden is thrust into a bigger role against his former team https://t.co/3fg1xaC48e— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 26, 2019