According to multiple reports, the Toronto Raptors have signed Patrick McCaw for a 1-year veteran’s minimum contract of $786 000.
Patrick McCaw plans to sign a deal with the Toronto Raptors, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2019
Sources: Pat McCaw plans to sign one-year, $786K veteran's minimum deal with the Toronto Raptors. McCaw has cleared free agency waivers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 9, 2019
McCaw was a restricted free agent, but a little magic from the Cleveland Cavaliers (and perhaps a little illegal circumvention of the cap), opened up the wing to the rest of the league. McCaw will fill the 14th roster spot for Toronto, which was recently vacated with the waiving of Lorenzo Brown.
As a player, McCaw has some upside. He hasn’t found any consistent success in the NBA, but the Golden State Warriors did see him as an important piece as recently as last year. He has recently been in a hold-out with the defending champions, refusing to re-sign in Golden State, which has obviously mean the Warriors have soured on him. In his rookie year of 2016-17, McCaw sported per-game averages of 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and shot 33.3 percent from deep. Those aren’t exactly ground-breaking, and his numbers dropped across the board in his sophomore year.
Still, McCaw is only 23-years-old, and his value goes deeper than his averages. He has long had a knack of getting to the rim, where he is a solid finisher. At 6-foot-7, he has great size for a wing. He has some ability as a cutter, as those skills have been honed during his time spent alongside Golden State’s stars. As a defender, he’s long and quick, even if he’s thin and hasn’t developed into a consistent threat.
Maybe McCaw’s most important skill on the court is his ability to create his own shot. He has never been a high-efficiency scorer, but he’s able to create with the ball in his hands. The Raptors have had some weaknesses on the bench in that regard, as Fred Van Vleet, Delon Wright, and even Norman Powell have been unable to carry the bench consistently throughout every game. McCaw won’t be the first option with the bench, but it’s possible that his creation ability will offer a little more oxygen to teammates around him. He won’t crack the top-9 in the playoffs, but he’s a quality insurance policy.
McCaw offers more value than just through his on-court play. He knows the internal machinations of the Warriors. That isn’t a huge advantage, but if the Raptors truly believe they can win a championship, every little bit helps. He’s won championships with the Warriors, which can’t be overstated. The more champions on a roster, the better.
Don’t expect Patrick McCaw to suddenly take starter’s minutes from Danny Green, and don’t expect him to supplant Fred Van Vleet as the offensive fulcrum for the bench (when everyone is healthy). Still, McCaw will fill a valuable, if small, role for the Raptors. The fact that Toronto didn’t give anything up to acquire McCaw means it is a low-reward, no-cost scenario.