The changing faces in Toronto are apparently throwing off even the media.
New Raptors wing Stanley Johnson was speaking with reporters Friday when he got a question about what it was like to win three straight championships. It turns out that the reporter had hilariously mistaken him for teammate Patrick McCaw, who was on Toronto’s title-winning team last year as well as the back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors the two years before that.
Johnson played it off well though and said that winning three straight titles was a good thing to be mistaken for. Check out the funny video.
Reporters got Stanley Johnson mixed up with Pat McCaw
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 12, 2019
The 23-year-old Johnson was previously on the New Orleans Pelicans and Detroit Pistons, so it’s safe to say that he was pretty far from winning three consecutive championships. All things considered, this is probably the most amusing case of mistaken NBA identity since back in 2014.
There is one common thread to the past three NBA championship teams, and it’s not what you would think. Patrick McCaw has been on the championship team each of the past three seasons.
McCaw played 71 for the Golden State Warriors as a rookie and won the title in 2017. He played 57 games for them the following season when they won it all, making it 2-for-2. As if that weren’t enough, he was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers in January and claimed by the Raptors, who went on to win the title this year.
So how does McCaw feel about being a 3-time NBA champion in his three seasons in the league? He showed his mood on Instagram Friday:
McCaw is almost halfway to a Horry and at 23 still has plenty of time to match Big Shot Bob’s mark of seven.
No rules were broken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their signing of restricted free agent Patrick McCaw, an NBA investigation concluded.
The league announced that there was nothing wrong with Cleveland’s handling of McCaw. The Cavaliers signed the restricted free agent to a two-year non-guaranteed offer sheet before waiving him after just three games, sparking speculation that Cleveland did him a favor to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent as quickly as possible.
NBA says it has completed its investigation into the Cavaliers’ signing and subsequent waiver of Patrick McCaw. Based on the specific facts and circumstances of this matter, the NBA found that there was no violation of the league’s CBA, including the anti-circumvention rules.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) January 14, 2019
McCaw has since joined the Toronto Raptors, and the league has determined that there was no circumvention or conspiracy. That effectively closes the matter.
We may now have a clue as to why things went south between Patrick McCaw and the Golden State Warriors.
In a piece that ran on Friday, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported that McCaw was upset with the Warriors for signing Nick Young two summers ago in a move that put his role in doubt. Coach Steve Kerr was also said to have made matters worse during training camp by declaring an open competition for the backup shooting guard spot. Thompson goes on to cite some unnamed insiders, who said that the Young signing was “the first grievance” that McCaw had with the team as well as “the only tangible issue” that was vocalized.
The now 23-year-old McCaw carved out a role for the Warriors as a rookie in their title-winning 2016-17 campaign, making 20 starts in 71 regular seasons appearance plus three starts in 15 playoff appearances. However, McCaw’s production dipped slightly with Young aboard the next season (albeit partially due to a bruised lumbar suffered on a bad in-game fall last March).
McCaw then hit restricted free agency last summer but refused multiple offers by Golden State to retain him and held out several months into the 2018-19 season. Late last month, he finally agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was waived not long thereafter under bizarre circumstances. McCaw has since joined the Toronto Raptors on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum.
The former second-round pick’s handling of the entire situation with the Dubs confused many of his teammates at the time, but frustration over a perceived marginalization of his role may very well have been a legitimate gripe.
Patrick McCaw has a new home after a very confusing few weeks.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, McCaw will join the Toronto Raptors now that he has officially cleared waivers.
Patrick McCaw plans to sign a deal with the Toronto Raptors, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2019
McCaw joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as a restricted free agent on a two-year non-guaranteed contract. The Golden State Warriors did not match, and then the Cavaliers waived McCaw after three games, sparking speculation that the organization did him a favor to free him from Golden State. That’s led to an investigation, but it’s not really McCaw’s problem now.
McCaw will join Toronto for the remainder of the season, and likely won’t have a major role in the rotation. It’s still a bizarre twist to a strange story that may not be settled yet.
The NBA will formally investigate the Cleveland Cavaliers’ signing of Patrick McCaw, according to a report.
McCaw was a restricted free agent of the Golden State Warriors who pretty clearly did not want to play for the team. He rejected their contract offers, instead waiting to see if someone would sign him to an offer sheet Golden State wouldn’t match. After sitting out several months of the season, McCaw finally received an offer sheet from the Cavaliers that the Warriors did not match.
McCaw signed with the Cavs at the end of December, played three games for them, and then was waived before Monday’s deadline that would make contracts guaranteed. McCaw’s contract with the team was for two years at $6 million, but it was not guaranteed.
Cleveland’s bizarre handling of McCaw made us wonder whether they had done him a favor, signing and then waiving him so he could become an unrestricted free agent as he desired.
According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, the NBA will investigate the situation at Golden State’s request.
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 situation seems like the Cavs did McCaw a favor and helped him reach unrestricted free agency earlier than he should have, which harms a team like Golden State, which should have retained his rights for the season. The league generally would not want tricks like this to be done to circumvent the rules, which is why they will investigate.
Did the Cleveland Cavaliers do Patrick McCaw a big favor? It seems that way.
McCaw was a restricted free agent and refused to sign a deal with the Golden State Warriors, to the point he missed the first several months of the season. Instead, he was hoping to receive an offer sheet from another team that the Warriors wouldn’t match. He finally got that when the Cavaliers stepped up at the end of December and signed him to a two-year, $6 million offer sheet that was non-guaranteed.
The Warriors declined to match, so McCaw became a Cavalier. However, his time with Cleveland was brief — he played in three games before they waived him. Had he been on the roster as of Monday, his contract would have become guaranteed.
Now here’s the weird part: The Athletic’s Shams Charania says the Cavaliers are hoping to sign McCaw back if he clears waivers. Charania says many other teams have interest in signing McCaw if he clears waivers.
Cleveland, along with several playoff contenders, are expected to express interest in signing McCaw (unrestricted free agent) if he clears waivers. Guarantee deadline for McCaw (two years, $6M) — and other players on non-guaranteed deals around NBA — is Monday. https://t.co/QgZOUiPLVz
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 6, 2019
The thinking is that the Cavs might be able to get McCaw back on a cheaper deal. If not, maybe McCaw lands with another team. But it seems clear that McCaw really did not want to be with the Warriors any longer, and the Cavaliers signing him to the offer sheet and then waiving him helped him achieve his goal of becoming an unrestricted free agent.