Patrick McCaw has re-signed with the Toronto Raptors after spending the latter half of last season with the team. Bringing McCaw back to the team represents shrewd business for the Raptors.
The Toronto Raptors are in something of a transition period. The future of the team is up in the air after the departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but they continue to re-tool in the hopes of challenging for the title of NBA champions once more.
Whoever they sign in free agency isn’t going to be close to the standards of Kawhi Leonard, that much is clear, but the Raptors are picking up some nice pieces that could potentially improve the overall depth of the roster.
Players such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson are players who are yet to put all the pieces together but both have a potentially strong upside. The next signing on the board for the Raptors was Patrick McCaw, who spent the latter half of last season with the team.
McCaw re-signed with the Raptors on a two-year $8million deal, following a fairly successful first season in Toronto. Averaging 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and one assist per game in 26 regular season games for the Raptors, McCaw was a peripheral figure for the Raptors throughout the season but showed glimpses of productivity – especially on the defensive side of the ball.
At 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, McCaw is an agile and hounding defender, capable of snatching passes out of passing lanes at grabbing steals from opposing players hands. He averaged just under a steal per game for the Raptors in 13 minutes of playing time in the regular season.
The signing of McCaw fits entirely in with the identity of the Toronto Raptors. Throughout the past few years, the Raptors have always proved to be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They held the fifth-best defensive rating in the league during the regular season and the fourth-best defensive rating throughout the postseason. In short; the Toronto Raptors are a sound defensive team.
This season projects to be the same for the Raptors, even if they did lose two of their best defensive players this offseason. The truth, the best defender on the team from last season is still on the roster: Pascal Siakam.
The Raptors can deploy a lineup full of above average to great defenders, and McCaw fits into that mold. There are facets of his game that still need to be cleaned up, but McCaw can still add a lot to the team defensively.
A glaring hole that remains in his game is his offensive productivity. McCaw isn’t a great shooter by any means, and teams are likely to not guard him out on the perimeter. Essentially, we saw the Raptors play in 4v5 situations last season with McCaw on the court, his offensive was that non-existent.
Still, at $4million a year, the Raptors haven’t invested too much of their future in re-signing McCaw. Another season playing alongside the likes of Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol — incredibly high IQ basketball players — could do wonders for McCaw.
If he works hard on his game, the offensive side of things could fit nicely into place. Even as a league-average spot-up shooter, McCaw could bring a totally different dimension to the game.
Regardless, McCaw is a hard-working, energetic player who earned his place on the roster for the upcoming season. He’s a three-time NBA champion looking to win four in a row, might he do it this season?