Cavs could lose 1st-round pick if found guilty of helping Patrick McCaw escape restricted free agency

Posted: January 9, 2019 in #BringYour"A"GameSportsTalk!

The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently under investigation by the NBA at the request of the Golden State Warriors, who had former restricted free agent Patrick McCaw snatched from their very hands after failing to match a two-year, $6 million offer for his services.

The Cavs waived McCaw after less than a week with the team, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. But they could face a stiff penalty if found guilty of premeditatedly helping him escape his RFA status, standing to lose as much as a first-round draft pick, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Cleveland’s alibi is that it had roster in shambles, reduced to nine available players against the Miami Heat last Wednesday after the injuries to Rodney Hood and David Nwaba, as well as both of their two-way players starting out their season in the G League.

The argument, while valid, has some holes — as seeking out a restricted free agent as a potential replacement is the long route of player acquisitions. Teams often either promote their two-way players to a full NBA contract (there is no obligation to keep both G League two-way spots full) or target an unrestricted free agent to keep for the short term.

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