Storyline: Patrick McCaw Free Agency

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Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Bay Area News Group last week that he still wants to retain McCaw despite spending his second year dealing with a back injury and inconsistency. The Warriors do not plan to add another player to their 14-man roster so they can maintain financial flexibility. Though they signed training camp invitee Alfonzo McKinnie to a two-year deal, his contract does not become guaranteed until Jan. 10. The Warriors also own McCaw’s rights and have three days to match any offer sheet he receives. “I’d love to see him come back,” Lacob said of McCaw. “But if he doesn’t, we move on.”

Patrick​ McCaw has​ gone​ dark. His​ teammates have been​ reaching out​ and​ they can’t get a hold​ of him, talk​​ some sense into him. McCaw officially stayed away from all of this Warriors training camp and missed the entire preseason slate. The regular season starts in three days. A few Warriors players talked to him before camp, advising him on what to do. But as his holdout has continued, he has not responded to several players checking in on him. Veterans, champions — the kind of men McCaw should be listening to — are being shut out. “You can’t do this after two years,” one player said. “You’ve got to get the clout first. He doesn’t have the leverage.”

McCaw’s stance is more complicated but more important to understanding the current stalemate. He had a $1.7 million qualifying offer sitting on the table for months, which expired Monday night. He also had a two-year contract offer with a carrot for both sides — a $2-plus million starting salary for McCaw, which was larger than his qualifying offer, and a team option on that second year, sources indicated, which is an asset for the Warriors. McCaw’s representatives urged him to take one of the two choices, sources said, but he hasn’t.

That wouldn’t seem to make a ton of sense from a financial standpoint. After a rough second season that included a massive shooting slump, a fractured wrist and a nearly crippling back injury, McCaw didn’t find much of a market in restricted free agency. The Warriors’ guaranteed offer, it would appear, is the most lucrative available. But, reaffirmed by his Monday decision to let the qualifying offer expire, there’s something that’s becoming increasingly clear: This isn’t as much about money for McCaw as it is about opportunity. Sources indicate that both McCaw and his father, Jeff, who has become a vocal part of this process, believe a more expansive role is the best thing for his growth and eventual earning potential.

Training camp starts in less than a week and Patrick McCaw still hasn’t signed his qualifying offer to return to the Warriors. And according to Mark Medina, he isn’t even listed on the training camp roster — yet. The young wing is still holding out on a bigger deal from the Warriors and it appears that neither side is willing to budge at the moment. McCaw saw his role reduce in his sophomore season because of added wing depth and a few injuries that held him out of a large chunk of the season.

If McCaw doesn’t show up, maybe the Warriors will just stage an open competition and see if one of those younger options seizes the opportunity. But the most likely result remains McCaw’s eventual concession. A similar situation happened with center Alex Len in Phoenix last summer. He didn’t love his $4.2 million qualifying offer. He dragged the process deep into the summer. He finally accepted it on Sept. 21, right before camp.

Marcus Thompson: “The [Warriors] roster is set. There’s just one guy they’re waiting for. Patrick McCaw has a qualifying offer, and from how it was explained to me, it’s just a matter of – there’s no rush for him to sign it. It’s just sitting there. If another opportunity comes up, maybe somebody gets injured in a camp, maybe somebody wants to take a flier on him because they need a player, McCaw is just waiting until the last possible minute. …. In the end, I expect him to sign it and come back.”

But if McCaw and the Warriors are intent on continuing their partnership, they could better sculpt a deal that helps both sides. “Who knows where I’ll be,” McCaw said. “Hopefully I’m still with Golden State. …To be a part of this team, this organization the first two years, to learn — because every organization is not like Golden State. To have guys, superstar level talented players taking pay cuts to keep something together means a lot to me being young, having a group of guys who want to be together no matter the cost. It’s huge. It’s unreal I’m in this situation right now.”
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