Golden State Warriors: Is Patrick McCaw too good for Summer League?


The Golden State Warriors’ Patrick McCaw just celebrated winning his first championship and now he’s in the Summer League. Should he be?

The Golden State Warriors just won their second championship in three years. In typical Steve Kerr fashion, he relied on lots of players throughout the playoffs even into the NBA Finals. In Game 5 of the Finals, rookie Patrick McCaw took the floor opposite world class players like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

About a month after celebrating his first title, McCaw is back on the court. He’s not playing in front of tens of thousands rabid Warriors fans in Oracle Arena or hostile fans in the Quicken Loans Arena. He isn’t playing for the ultimate prize.

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McCaw is in Las Vegas playing in the Summer League. He’s with some guys who will be on the Golden State roster next year like Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. Others, like Bay Area native Jabari Brown, will be in the G-League.

In the Warriors’ first Summer League game, they took on the Processing Philadelphia 76ers. It was a loss for the Dubs, but there were positive takeaways. In a game where number one overall pick Markelle Fulz played a half (he left due to injury), McCaw was the best player on the floor.

McCaw scored 25 points. He shot 10/20 from the field and knocked down five three-pointers. He was +14 in 30 minutes. He also added four rebounds and two assists.

The game looked like it was coming easily for him. He was under control, making moves that he hadn’t made all season in Oakland. Everything moved in slow motion for him.

Many are asking: what is he doing there? Why is McCaw–who just celebrated a championship–playing with these guys? Should he be there?

The answer is probably yes. He’s still just a second year player. And though there are many, like myself, who believe in his ability to become really good, he isn’t there.

McCaw needs these reps. He spent all year long just being a complementary player. And he was effective in his role, playing solid defense and knocking down open shots that other players created for him.

The Warriors want him to turn into more. Andre Iguodala, who just signed on for three more years, isn’t young. They’ll need to start transitioning away from him. Golden State will need another playmaker sooner than later.

McCaw is the leader on the Warriors’ Summer League team. He gets to run the offense. He has more freedom on this team than he does on Golden State, allowing him to try new things that will benefit him in the long run.

Any time a player plays there is injury risk. But he has to continue to gain more confidence and experience. Playing in Las Vegas will do that.

McCaw has talent that makes him worthy to play in the NBA Finals against some of the best the game has to offer. He also needs to see more time on the court thus his inclusion on the Summer League team.