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Ranking all of Steph’s teammates: #66 — Patrick McCaw

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The undefeated champion.

2018 NBA Finals - Game Four Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

On June 25, 2009, the Golden State Warriors drafted Steph Curry. Ten years and 16 days later, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. With that move, Curry moved to second in the NBA for longest tenure with his current team. The only player he sits behind is Udonis Haslem, though that feels like a technicality. At this point, Haslem is essentially an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, having appeared in just 43 games and played fewer than 300 minutes over the last four seasons combined.

During his time in the Bay Area, Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.

And I’m ranking all 106 over the course of a few months.

Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.

To see all of the rankings thus far, you can click on the “Ranking Steph’s teammates” tag at the top of the article.


#66 — Patrick McCaw

Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Games: 128 (21st out of 106)
Points per game: 4.0 (T-75th out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 1.4 (T-85th out of 106)
Assists per game: 1.2 (52nd out of 106)

You knew it was coming eventually. You knew Patrick McCaw, one of the oddest stories in recent Warriors memory, was going to show up on this list soon.

Here he is, at number 66 on the all-time list of Steph Curry’s teammates. A spot that may feel way too high or way too low, depending on where you’re sitting and how much you want narratives to impact the story.

The concept of McCaw — whom the Warriors took in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft — was simple. He was to be Andre Iguodala Lite. He would succeed for the same reasons Iguodala did: his versatile lockdown defense and impressive playmaking skills would offset his nonexistent jump shot and limited offensive arsenal.

It didn’t happen. In his two years in the Bay Area, McCaw was fine defensively, but hardly a standout (he’s developed a bit on that end of the court since leaving the Warriors). His assist rate of 9.8% is notably below Klay Thompson’s career rate, and I think we can all agree that playmaking isn’t why Thompson is bound for the Hall of Fame.

And while the strengths didn’t pan out in McCaw’s case, the weaknesses did. His low scoring output wasn’t the result of limited playing time, as he finished his Warriors tenure averaging just 9.0 points per 36 minutes. He shot 29.6% on threes (for reference, Draymond Green’s career mark is 31.9%). He had a true-shooting percentage of just 51.0% — well below average — despite not creating his own shot (80.2% of his made buckets his rookie year were assisted on, and 76.1% in his second year).

As much as I’d love to, I can’t wrap this up without mentioning his departure. Even though he won titles with the Warriors in both years, and received more playing time and trust from the coaching staff than he perhaps deserved, he didn’t want to return to the Warriors, for reasons that he never really explained.

Due for restricted free agency, McCaw essentially held out prior to the 2018-19 season, refusing to sign a contract with the Warriors or an offer sheet that they could match. He finally signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers halfway through the season, with a decently-priced contract with a rapidly impending guarantee date, all but guaranteeing that Golden State wouldn’t match. He spent just three games with Cleveland before getting waived, leading many to believe that the Cavs had merely been trying to help him out.

He caught on with the Toronto Raptors and eventually earned his third ring in as many tries — against the Warriors, no less. But if he was seeking a better opportunity than the Warriors could offer, he didn’t really find it, as he averaged fewer minutes last year with the Raptors than in either of his Warriors campaigns.

His role did increase this season, however, as he averaged 24.5 minutes per night (albeit in just 37 games) for the defending champs.

Perhaps he’s carving out his role in the league. Perhaps in a few months he’ll collect his fourth championship ring. Perhaps he would have grown even more with the Warriors. Perhaps he would have fallen off completely.

Who knows. Either way, he’s Steph Curry’s 66th-best Warriors teammates, and he’s got some pretty nice hardware for his trophy room.

Poll

What do you think of Patrick McCaw’s ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    He was better than #66
    (28 votes)
  • 38%
    #66 is about right
    (66 votes)
  • 45%
    He was worse than #66
    (77 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now