Late news out of the Raptors camp tonight, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the team will waive guard Patrick McCaw.
McCaw, playing in his fifth NBA season, has appeared in just five games for the Raptors since the league shutdown in March 2020. He’s dealt with a myriad of left knee issues, which have required two surgeries over that period of time.
As noted by The Athletic’s Blake Murphy, this move opens up one more roster spot for Toronto; the anticipated signing of Khem Birch and already-announced Freddie Gillespie filled any void they had before.
Raptors didn't need the spot, by the way, at least based on current known additions. Had two open, one for Gillespie and one for Birch if he clears.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) April 9, 2021
McCaw's spot opening up leaves room to add another G League/Euro roster flier or convert a 2-way at a later date.
The opportunity now presents itself for the Raptors (in desperate need of bodies, as we witnessed tonight) to get someone healthy, maybe tall, to shore up minutes.
As for McCaw, the news sees yet another member of the 2019 NBA Champions walk out the front door. The wing’s history with the Raptors will probably be best remembered for controversy. During long stretches of the 2018-19 title run, then-rookie head coach Nick Nurse showed a strong liking to McCaw on the defensive end, often playing him at the expense of younger players further down the bench. His minutes were contentious, but rarely disastrous, even earning a few minutes in the Finals before he brought home his third championship in as many years. (How’s that for a story to tell your kids?)
Since then, though, injuries have made him a non-factor. The decision to waive him is a prudent one. The Raptors can’t afford to wait anymore, with limited options and a four games in five nights stretch awaiting them on Saturday. They need to save another star player from injury and get someone who can play bench minutes. That, unfortunately, was not going to be Patrick McCaw this season.