It’s been a strange few months for Patrick McCaw, and his bizarre saga continued on Sunday afternoon. Less than two weeks after officially signing him to a two-year, $6M deal, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly planning to waive McCaw before his deal becomes fully guaranteed.
Teams deciding to waive deep rotation players before their deals become guaranteed is a fairly common practice around the league, and it normally would not be more than a blip on the news feed. With McCaw, however, it’s quite notable.
After winning two titles with the Golden State Warriors in his first two seasons, McCaw became a restricted free agent, and decided to move on from the Warriors. He turned down the team’s qualifying offer, but was then unable to find another deal. He sat out the first two-plus months of the season before finally agreeing to a deal with the Cavs, who will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host the Pacers (7 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass extension).
At two years and six million dollars, it was too hefty a price for a Warriors team that is already dealing with an exorbitant luxury tax penalty. But after three games, the Cavaliers decided they didn’t want to actually pay McCaw that much money either.
They are, however, apparently still interested in McCaw, as Shams Charania reported that they’ll be looking into signing him — albeit for far less money — once he clears waivers. Other teams, though, are reportedly interested as well.
The most likely reason for the Cavs going through this process is that if they had tried to sign McCaw for less money than they did originally, the Warriors might have just matched the deal. Now, they had a chance to get a true look at McCaw, and could still sign him for a more reasonable deal.
As for McCaw, this is another hurdle in what has been a frustrating few months, but it does at least allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens with McCaw moving forward.
Additionally, this could be the tipping point for changes to restricted free agency. ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks suggested that two big changes — an earlier date for allowing offer sheets, and making the first year of those offers guaranteed — could result from this saga.
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