On Friday night, the Raptors’ roster looked barren outside of the championship-winning core. Now in the span of forty eight hours, Toronto have restocked their cupboards with four free agents signings. The last signing of a hectic few days is Patrick McCaw, who will be returning to the Raptors on a two-year deal, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic.
McCaw is on a two-year deal, per a source. Can't confirm $ yet.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) July 8, 2019
McCaw joined the Raptors in January last year, playing in 26 games and assumed the role of ninth man in the team’s playoff rotation. The guard averaged 2.7 points per game on 44.4 per cent shooting in just over 13 minutes per night during the regular season. McCaw’s most notable outing was a season-high 13 points against the Brooklyn Nets in Marc Gasol’s home debut in Toronto. Although his minutes were cut in the postseason, Nick Nurse has repeatedly mentioned his fondness of McCaw’s perimeter defence.
Amidst the pain of Kawhi Leonard bolting for Los Angeles, solace can be found in the contingency plan that Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster’s have devised. It was clear that youth needed to be injected into a squad with many starters reaching the back-end of their primes and the Raptors have addressed this by bringing in four players all aged 24 years or younger. Besides the age factor, another key ingredient that Toronto seemingly covet is versatility and athleticism. All four free agent signings boast the ability to defend at least three positions.
However, there is a reason that McCaw, Stanley Johnson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are all available on cheap, short-term deals. None of the trio have shown the ability to adequately shoot at the NBA level, an increasingly important prerequisite for wings to provide. McCaw and Johnson are also incredibly limited in numerous other offensive skills, neither of which are remotely comfortable as ball-handlers. The Raptors are hedging that the team’s infrastructure can help McCaw and others tap their unearthed potential; Pascal Siakam’s drastic improvement as a catch-and-shoot option should be cause for optimism. These signings are low risk, medium-to-high reward and each player’s progression will be fun to track throughout the season.
Also, it is important to note that Patrick McCaw is a singular NBA dynasty, a modern day Bill Russell if you will. The guard has won the NBA Championship in all three of his professional basketball years. If you needed any more assurance that the Raptors can manage to defy the odds and repeat as champions, look no further than this signing as a statement of intent!