For the third time in four years, UNLV has produced an NBA draft pick, as sophomore guard Patrick McCaw was selected No. 38 overall on Thursday by the Golden State Warriors.
McCaw, a 6-foot-7 prospect heralded for his defensive potential, was projected as a late-first or early-second round pick by most mock drafts, and the Warriors took the plunge early in the second. Golden State reportedly bought the pick from the Milwaukee Bucks for $2.4 million, which is a pretty solid indication of how much they value McCaw’s potential.
After bursting onto the scene as an unknown freshman in 2014-15, McCaw developed into the Rebels’ best all-around player as a sophomore last season. He led the team in scoring (14.7 points per game), 3-point shooting (36.6 percent) and steals (2.5), and that production, combined with his length and quickness, put him on the draft radar.
McCaw follows in the footsteps of recent UNLV alums Anthony Bennett and Rashad Vaughn, who were drafted first (2013) and 17th (2015) overall, respectively.
Golden State seems to be an ideal landing spot for McCaw stylistically, as the Warriors emphasize perimeter defense, positional versatility and outside shooting, all of which count as strengths for McCaw. But in practical terms, making the roster may prove to be a challenge, as the Warriors have a stable of veterans wings such as Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush. Barnes and Rush are free agents, however, and Livingston has a non-guaranteed contract, so the Warriors may intend to give some of those minutes to McCaw.