Patrick McCaw entered this past offseason as one of many restricted free agents that figured to have a difficult time finding a deal they wanted with so many teams unable to create cap space to bring in new players via free agency.
So, McCaw decided to wait things out and played a little hardball with the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for him, the defending champs aren’t the best team to try and leverage, so Golden State let his free agency drag out well into the season. Eventually, the Cleveland Cavaliers extended McCaw a two-year, $6 million non-guaranteed contract. The Warriors chose not to match, and McCaw was finally freed from his RFA purgatory.
Over the weekend, word broke that McCaw would be released by the Cavs ahead of Monday’s deadline for non-guaranteed deals to become guaranteed, making McCaw an unrestricted free agent once he cleared waivers. Without knowing for sure, it certainly looks like a predetermined move by the Cavs and McCaw to get him out from under the Warriors’ control and able to seek out a deal wherever he can find one, without that team worried about their offer being matched.
The Warriors, for whatever reason, are very upset about all of this going on with a player they were happy to let go — or they would have matched the Cavs’ offer — and have apparently filed a complaint with the NBA, resulting in an investigation into the Cavs’ signing of McCaw.
This is all silly and petty by the Warriors, who clearly didn’t want McCaw but apparently wanted to exercise their control in the situation and are now mad that was circumvented by some clever negotiating. The league shouldn’t do anything about this because it doesn’t really set any kind of negative precedent, as, once again, a team can very easily just match an offer if one should come in this regard.
It’s not like McCaw makes out like a bandit here and future RFA’s will see this as a loophole, as they’d almost always be better off just taking the qualifying offer and hitting the market as a UFA the next season. Instead, it’s a player who misplayed his hand trying to get out from a bad situation that was at least partially of his creation in order to simply move on with his career.