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NBA finds no violations in Cavaliers signing then waiving Warriors RFA Patrick McCaw

Patrick McCaw, Derrick Jones Jr.

Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. (5) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers’ Patrick McCaw (3) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Cleveland. Miami won 117-92. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


The NBA investigated the Cavaliers signing restricted free agent Patrick McCaw to an offer sheet the Warriors didn’t match then waiving him fewer than two weeks later.

NBA release:

The NBA announced today that it has completed its investigation into the Cleveland Cavaliers’ signing and subsequent waiver of Patrick McCaw. Based on the specific facts and circumstances of this matter, the NBA found that there was no violation of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, including the anti-circumvention rules.

This always seemed like the most likely outcome.

The Cavaliers signed McCaw to a valid offer sheet. The Warriors didn’t match. The Cavaliers exercised their right to waive a player – on the final day before his salary became guaranteed, no less. Were they supposed to keep and pay a player they no longer wanted it? Each transaction seemed reasonable.

Maybe the Cavs signed McCaw to spite Golden State, knowing the contract would have been cheap to them but expensive for the Warriors, who are deep into the luxury tax. The move cost Golden State an asset. But so what? There’s no rule against pettiness.

Barring a smoking gun of written communication between Cleveland and McCaw/his agent/someone in his camp on a future contract, there was nothing for the NBA to do here. The Cavaliers and McCaw, who signed with the Raptors, should get to move on.