The signing of Patrick McCaw ended up being a whole lot more trouble than it was worth for the Cavs.
Not only did his time with the team last less than one week, but the ordeal that resulted may have cost them the ultimate price: the treasured lottery pick in 2019, the same one that will feature prospects like Zion Williamson and RJ Barret.
When the Cavs inked a deal with McCaw and then released him just days later, it gave some within the community a bad feeling, especially the Warriors, who were in negotiations with McCaw. Because Cleveland released him, he was able to become an unrestricted free agent and was therefore no longer bound by his restricted contract negotiations with the Warriors.
The NBA will launch a formal review into Cleveland’s signing and near-immediate release of restricted free agent Patrick McCaw at the request of Golden State, @NYTSports has learned
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 8, 2019
The Warriors asked the NBA to investigate, and the league will determine if and how they will take action.
True, the Cavs would have seemingly had a need for McCaw, as their roster isn’t currently filled with stars. And true, the Warriors could’ve matched the Cavs offer if they wanted to.
But the timing is just too convenient to not be suspicious. Why sign a restricted free-agent if your team is in urgent need of another player? Why not give him longer than a week to stick around? Why, of all people, did it have to be a former Warrior?
If the NBA can prove that an agreement was made between McCaw or his agent, Bill Duffy, and the Cavs on a promise of waiving him before the deadline, punishment could be handed down, which could strip Cleveland of its high lottery pick in the upcoming draft.
They’d lose out on Zion, thus literally wasting an entire season and losing out on their hope for a better future.
These are the types of mistakes the Cavs have to avoid. Yet, unfortunately, these are the mistakes that the Cavs keep making again and again.