LOS ANGELES — The NBA completed its investigation into the Patrick McCaw signing and determined that the Cleveland Cavaliers did not violate the Collective Bargaining Agreement in any way.
The league — at the urging of the Golden State Warriors — interviewed numerous parties involved in the deal to see if there was any circumvention of salary cap rules.
Had the Cavs been found guilty of any wrongdoing they could have been fined or even lost a future draft pick.
The Cavs signed McCaw, a restricted free agent with the Warriors who was locked in a stalemate with the organization, to a two-year offer sheet worth $6 million on Dec. 28. The Warriors ultimately declined to match, letting McCaw join rival Cleveland.
After about a week with the Cavs, McCaw looked rusty and out of basketball shape, making little impact for his new team. Before his contract could become fully guaranteed and in need of another ball-handler, the Cavs waived McCaw and signed Cameron Payne to a 10-day contract.
It was both the timing of the deal and subsequent quick release that had some the Warriors wondering about the Cavs’ true intentions — thinking a prior agreement with McCaw and his agent, Bill Duffy, was in place to get him out of Golden State’s control and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.
While the NBA’s official ruling on Monday always seemed like the most likely outcome, given everything the Cavs did was logical and well within the rules, Cleveland can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it will retain its draft pick and can put this all in the past.
The Cavs currently have the worst record in the NBA and would have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery.
As for McCaw, he signed with the Toronto Raptors on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum after clearing waivers about a week ago. He has yet to appear in a game with Toronto.