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Raptors’ Patrick McCaw admits he’d change his Warriors exit if he could

Patrick McCaw, Raptors

Through the start of his professional career, Patrick McCaw set a goal which has now become cliche for most athletes: to be the best player there ever was. While self-betterment and the pursuit of greatness is nothing to chide him for, it was that attitude that ultimately clouded his abrupt exit from the Golden State Warriors, ultimately landing him with the Toronto Raptors.

McCaw was extended a $1.7 million qualifying offer to him weeks after the team’s 2018 championship parade, despite playing poorly for most of the year in his limited minutes and suffering a grave injury late in the season, which forced him to learn to walk again.

As talks stalled, the Warriors doled out a two-year, $5.2 million offer in September, hoping it would be enough to entice him to sign on the dotted line and start training camp among his teammates. No dice.

McCaw was hellbent on becoming the best player he could be, and after seeing most of his would-be minutes after an encouraging rookie season go to Nick Young, he knew it was his time to move on from the two-time defending champions:

“I didn’t feel like I would get to that level in Oakland,” McCaw told Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. “But that was just thinking from my own course, just for my own good. I was just like man, I want this, I want this.”

“Just seeing young guys in the league that weren’t as good as me. That they were shining and I felt I could be doing the same. I felt I was just as good as him and could be doing the same thing they were doing. I think that was my biggest thing, like, ‘Man, I could be doing what he’s doing.’ That was the biggest thing.”

McCaw admitted he had made up his mind even before the Warriors’ offers rolled in:

“Like late August before training camp started,” he said. “I was like, ‘There’s no way I can go back.’ I was in such a self-centered, self-absorbed state where I just wanted to transition into something different. There’s nobody, there’s no thing that could really change my mind.”

The 23-year-old maintains he doesn’t regret his decision to leave the Warriors, but rather how it all played out:

“Thinking back on it, I can’t even try to think like that no more,” said McCaw. “Where I’m at now, I probably would’ve done it a little differently. Being in the headspace I am now, I would have already signed in the summer.”

Yet McCaw won’t close the door on a potential return to the Bay Area when the time is right:

“I wouldn’t say there’s regret. I’m still alive, I’m still breathing,” he said. “I still get that opportunity to play, and who knows if it’s back in Golden State, if it’s back in Toronto, anything could possibly transpire.”

Patrick McCaw and the Raptors will face the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.