Person of Interest: New Raptors addition Patrick McCaw

Nick Nurse addresses the media ahead of the Raptors matchup with the Nets tonight and talks how newly acquired Patrick McCaw fits within his lineup.

The Toronto Raptors own the best record in the NBA, but they’re still making moves to improve their roster.

Toronto will reportedly sign free agent guard Patrick McCaw to a one-year deal, adding wing depth as the club looks to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Here are some things you need to know about the newest Raptor.

Age: 23
Position: Shooting guard
Career averages: PPG: 3.9 | APG: 1.2 | RPG: 1.4
Height: Six-foot-seven | Weight: 185 lbs.
College: UNLV
Draft details: 38th overall pick in 2016 NBA Draft
Contract: One-year, $786,000 (veteran’s minimum)

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Controversial Cavalier

McCaw has been in the news quite a bit lately, and it’s not because of his play on the court — or lack thereof. The NBA is investigating the circumstances around McCaw’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 23-year-old joined the Cavs organization on Dec. 28 after the Golden State Warriors declined to match the offer sheet McCaw received from Cleveland. McCaw was holding out in a contract dispute with the Warriors prior to agreeing to terms with the Cavaliers.

The UNLV product appeared in only three games for the Cavaliers before being placed on waivers Sunday, and as a result, the Warriors requested the investigation into the Cavaliers’ proceedings. If Cleveland is found guilty of helping him escape his restricted free agency, the team could reportedly have to surrender a first-round draft pick.

The Cavaliers are defending its actions by saying its roster was in dire straits at the time of the signing. The team was recently reduced to nine players for a game against the Miami Heat on Jan. 2.

Injury scare

Last year, McCaw suffered one of the more terrifying injuries you’ll see on a basketball court. Driving in for a dunk, McCaw collided with then-Kings guard Vince Carter where he sustained a spinal injury after a hard fall.

The guard remained on the floor for several minutes and eventually had to be stretchered off the court. He temporarily experienced numbness in his legs but avoided structural damage.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the incident was “the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced on a basketball floor.” The veteran Carter was also distraught over what transpired.

Championship pedigree

McCaw will join former San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green as the only current Raptors with a championship ring. McCaw reached basketball’s pinnacle twice as a member of the Warriors in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He wasn’t a major contributor, but he was a consistent part of the Warriors’ rotation during that period. The St. Louis native appeared in 21 playoff games over the past two post-seasons, drawing three starts.

An added bonus for the Raptors? They now have someone on their team who is very familiar with the Warriors. That could come in handy should Toronto meet Golden State in the NBA Finals. One thing at a time, though.

Not a sharpshooter

Toronto’s biggest weakness so far this season is its lack of consistent three-point shooting. The Raptors shoot the ninth-most triples per game but convert on only 34 per cent of those attempts, a success rate that ranks them 23rd in the NBA.

McCaw likely won’t be the answer to those three-point woes as he carries a career mark of 29.5 per cent from downtown. Instead, McCaw brings value with his athleticism, defence and length. Sound familiar? The Raptors have plenty of youngsters with a similar skill set in OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Delon Wright.

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