Patrick McCaw walked away from a championship team and wound up on the NBA’s worst squad.
He’s not sure how it happened.
“That’s a tough question,” he said Monday following his first practice with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
McCaw, who chose not to re-sign with Golden State following last season, is now in Cleveland after the Warriors decided not to match the two-year, $6 million offer sheet the Cavaliers gave the 23-year-old swingman last week.
He had been expected to be in the Warriors’ rotation this season, but he turned down a reported two-year, $5.2 million contract, held out and became a restricted free agent.
Now he is starting over with the Cavaliers, who also are starting anew.
“I loved playing in Golden State,” McCaw said. “My teammates, the coaches, it was nothing really — nothing stands out to me to say I didn’t want to go back. Think it was just a personal thing where I was just like, I think it was time for me to move on for a new opportunity within myself. Nothing against Golden State, front office, coaches, players, the environment, it had nothing to do with any of that. It’s just a personal thing, and I wanted a new opportunity to move on.
“I can’t say anything other than it was all me. Nothing against Golden State. I just wanted to move on.”
Coach Larry Drew said he expects McCaw to make his Cavaliers debut Wednesday against the Miami Heat.
Cleveland, which has dropped six straight and has the NBA’s worst record at 8-29, has been plagued by injuries all season and needs front-line help, but the 6-foot-7 McCaw says he can play wherever needed.
“I’m just a basketball player,” he said. “I feel I can guard multiple positions and handle the ball. I can defend. I can shoot. I don’t really look at myself as a 1, 2 or 3, just consider myself a basketball player.”
He averaged 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 57 games last season before he got hurt while attempting a dunk on March 31. He returned for Golden State’s title run but was limited to 16 minutes in six games.
Although things didn’t work out with the Warriors, McCaw said he has no regrets on how things played out.
“I bet on myself and stayed positive,” he said. “A lot of guys in my position being 22 or 23 years old probably would never take that chance because they don’t know what the outcome could possibly be. I know I had injuries and things like that last season, and I’ve just been continuing to work and get better and constantly make strides within myself. That’s how I’ve always been. Just focusing on myself, getting better within myself and telling myself I can be great at this game.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.