The Creation of the Golden State Warriors “super team” with the addition of Kevin Durant in free agency creates unique opportunities for young players if they can mature and develop quickly. Although there was a boost in the salary cap from the NBA’s TV deal, the Warriors were still limited in free agency from the cap restrictions created in the last CBA.
First and second year players are usually not counted upon to make an impact on their rosters, but I feel like the Warriors young assets can if they develop quickly and don’t play like typical NBA rookie contract players.
Over the summer months I will look at the young talent on the Warriors roster, such as Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney and Damian Jones, to evaluate if they have any impact for the Warriors heading into the 2016-17 NBA Season.
The Golden State Warriors draft night trade with the Milwaukee Bucks (No. 38 overall for cash considerations), to acquire UNLV guard Patrick McCaw was met with a lot of positivity. McCaw is seen as a versatile and athletic swingman, that is a developing shooter and good defender. McCaw was viewed by many as a first round talent, so it is apparent why this was viewed by many as a great move by the Warriors to trade back in the draft and acquire his services.
Here is what we know about McCaw based off of his college career, scouting combine info, and summer league play:
Patrick McCaw – SG – 6’7″, 185 lbs., UNLV sophomore, age: 20
McCaw’s draft stock was helped in the second game of 5-on-5 at the scouting combine. He scored 14 points, had four assists and two steals.
Shooting drill: 13-25 from NBA 3-point range
Scouting Combine Measurements:
6’63/4″ in shoes
- Improving shooter with three point range
- Good ball handler and passer
- Can defend multiple positions on the floor
- Skilled and athletic, can play SG and SF
- Needs to add size and strength
Highlights from his best summer league game. 07/14/2016 vs Toronto:
NBA Comparison based off of the previous information: Josh Howard
There are numerous similarities that I see between Josh Howard and McCaw. Look at the similar stats they posted in their sophomore years in college:
Similar stats don’t necessarily mean that these players have similar games. Howard, for example, put on more size in college (and he stayed at Wake Forest all four years) to finish around the basket, and used his athletic ability and long arms to work on his rim protection. McCaw is entering the NBA after his second year and is listed at 185, his size did not allow him to bang around in the post like Howard did college.
The post play and shot blocking are the big differences between the two. Offensively and defensively from what I’ve seen they play a lot alike. They both can handle, get to the basket, defend on-ball excellently and shoot from the perimeter. If McCaw develops into the kind type of player that Josh Howard was for the Mavericks in his first four years, then the Warriors have a steal from the 2016 NBA Draft.
McCaw’s play in the summer league, especially in his fifth and last game against the Raptors displayed the type of player he already is:
If McCaw can be a plus defender and reliable shooter when the regular season starts, he can possibly take some minutes away from Ian Clark off the bench at SG, or play spot minutes in a back-court with Clark when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are both on the bench.
I believe McCaw has the best chance of any first, second or third year player to expand his impact on this next season for the Warriors because of his versatility, length, shooting and bench depth needs. McCaw won’t be depended on to be that player once the 2016 season begins, but with the unpredictability of injures and player regression, I believe McCaw can be a vital bench player this year and going forward.