Toronto Raptors: Waiving of Patrick McCaw shows how injuries derailed a very promising career

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 05: Patrick McCaw #22 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 05: Patrick McCaw #22 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

While Patrick McCaw has the unique distinction of having won three consecutive championship rings in his first three seasons in the league, one of which came with the Toronto Raptors, injuries have limited his effectiveness in his pro career.

McCaw, who was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft out of UNLV, seemed like an ideal fit for Steve Kerr’s offense, as the lanky 6-7 guard could play on the wing or as a traditional point guard. McCaw would end up starting 30 games in his first two seasons, shooting 42% along the way.

Unfortunately, injuries in both Golden State and Toronto limited his explosion on the offensive end. McCaw tried his hardest to return to form, but his performance this season underwhelmed, and the Raptors were left with no choice but to cut him loose.

The Raptors officially waived McCaw last night, putting an end to his three-season stint with Toronto. Had he not picked up these injuries, Toronto might’ve been able to see his full potential on display.

Patrick McCaw saw his Toronto Raptors stint ruined by injuries

McCaw was on a very promising track in Golden State, but a spinal injury suffered in 2018 was the first in a long series of ailments that knocked him off course. Hoping to prove his value with the Cleveland Cavaliers shortly thereafter, McCaw was waived after just three games, which should have been the first sign his play took a dip.

Nick Nurse decided to take a chance on the then-23-year-old, as someone with his long limbs, ability to penetrate, and quality shooting makes him a perfect 2-guard for his schemes on offense and defense. Not only did he look less aggressive on defense, but his intriguing offensive package appeared to completely ebb away over the course of last season.

McCaw averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 68 contests with the Raptors. During this season, McCaw played in just five games due to a major knee injury, averaging 1.0 points per game. Simply put, his time with the Raptors has run out. That’s a shame because he didn’t look anything like the player we saw in Golden State.

If there is any justice in the NBA world, McCaw will be able to resurrect his career, land with a team willing to work with him, and put his injury woes behind him. If not, Raptors and Warriors fans alike will have to wonder if McCaw has the skills needed to wiggle his way back into a rotation at the NBA level.

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