Raptors guard Patrick McCaw has finally explained why he wanted to leave the two-time defending champions after last season.
The former Warriors guard told The Undefeated he wanted more of a chance to be on the floor, compete and contribute.
“I could say it was playing time, but I think it was just me being emotional as a kid,” McCaw said. “I just wanted more. Not necessarily more playing time, but more opportunity for myself. I’m not discrediting the Warriors and what they chose to do. I just think being a young kid, you see all the younger guys competing and doing their thing and you feel like, ‘OK, I’m just that kid, or I could be doing exactly what he’s doing.'”
The third year guard suffered a serious injury toward the end of the 2017-18 season. But he was eventually able to return for the playoff race. However, he was limited to just 2.7 minutes per game in the six games he played and had minimal impact on the Warriors second straight championship – which weighed on him heavily.
McCaw, 23, thought it would be his final season with Golden State, but the team offered him a two-year, $4 million contract to keep him onboard. Despite encouragement from his agent to take the deal, McCaw waited it out.
“Maybe I could just go back and finish, just go back for a year, see what happens, see where it took me,” McCaw said. “I just felt like once it got past preseason, I was just adamant about not going back. I was just stuck right there. That’s when I was like, ‘I’m just not going.’ I made it this far and I missed preseason, I missed the season opener, I missed getting the rings. I’ve made it this far just based off of what I chose to do.”
The Warriors were vocal about wanting to match offers made for McCaw, but declined to do so when he signed a $3 million offer sheet with the Cavaliers last December. He was waived after just three games with Cleveland before being picked up by Toronto.
McCaw is averaging just 5.1 minutes per game with the Raptors and missed a majority of the third round coping with the death of his brother, Jeffrey. He’ll face his old teammates one year removed from last season’s NBA Finals on Thursday. He still keeps in touch, but he’s ready to challenge them now.
“It’s going to be crazy, just the first game lining up against them,” McCaw said. “I haven’t played against them all season. I haven’t been there with them since we won in Cleveland. The last time I saw them, I was playing with the Warriors. The first game? A lot of emotions. I’m ready for it. I’m excited.”