OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors kicked off the 2018-19 season at media day on Monday, and there was one conspicuous absence: Patrick McCaw.
General manager Bob Myers said that the Warriors and McCaw’s representatives have been having “cordial” conversations throughout the offseason, and that they’re working to find a resolution that would bring the 22-year old feel-good story from the end of last season back to Golden State.
“We’re going to keep talking, and hopefully we reach a resolution that works for him and us,” Myers said. “Love to get him here. That’s the plan now, and we’re going to keep working in that direction.”
McCaw was productive off the bench for the Warriors as a rookie, shooting 33.3 percent from three and 43.3 percent from the floor, averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 2016, but didn’t win a rotation spot out of training camp last season, with the additions of Nick Young and Omri Casspi.
He then missed more than four weeks with a wrist injury, and nearly two months after a spinal injury suffered when Vince Carter undercut him on a layup attempt in Sacramento. He returned to the court and received a warm ovation in the playoffs.
The Warriors presented McCaw with a $1.64 million qualifying offer at the start of the offseason.
Currently, the Warriors have 17 players on their preseason roster, including two-way signee Damion Lee and the injured DeMarcus Cousins (who will be re-evaluated in four weeks), but given that the roster will get cut down as training camp proceeds, there is still room to add McCaw. There are, however, contingencies.
“He plays the wing position, so we have to probably examine all the different wing possibilities,” Myers said. “There’s veterans, there’s guys that we’re going to have in camp, a combination of that. The primary hope is that we can get him here. Our job, my job, is to give the coach and the organization the best team we can. If that requires something else, that’s what we’ll have to do. Our focus is to not do that.”
Golden State is wing-heavy going into camp, a marked difference from last season, when had six centers (“Which, I didn’t mind as much as other people did,” Myers said).
With the retirement of David West (Kerr hopes West, still in the Bay Area, comes around to practice) and the departures of Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, the younger roster has a more uncertain back end, outside of forward Jonas Jerebko. Golden State brought in mostly wings with their crop of new signees this offseason, including 6-foot-7 guard Danuel House, 6-foot-7 small forward Marcus Derrickson, 5-foot-10 guard Tyler Ulis, 6-foot-8 forward Alfonzo McKinnie and 6-foot-3 guard Kendrick Nunn.
“Historically, we’ve carried 15 for most of the season. We’ve done a couple buyouts and signed guys in the past,” Myers said. “We’ve done that the last couple years, or two of the last three. The idea might be different this year. We might carry 14 going into the season, and see what develops … We’re going to have quite a few guys in camp.”
The two-way rule will allow Golden State to move Lee up and down between the G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, and Oakland, but the Warriors still have one more two-way spot that could go to some of the other camp invitees, or someone signed later.
“We did that with Quinn Cook last year, and it was good for us,” Myers said. “We’ll see. We haven’t had that kind of flexibility. In the past, we’ve carried 15. I think we’ll go into the season with 14, but it’s hard to say who exactly that’ll be on the roster.”