The most frightening moments of Patrick McCaw's young life came on the night of March 31, when he was being taken by ambulance to a hospital with a spinal injury.
Though he has since recovered, that event, along with McCaw's drop in effectiveness during the season, may turn out to be a blessing for the Warriors.
They could lead to the restricted free agent returning to the defending champions.
Out of preliminary evaluation of the upcoming free agent market came optimism among the Warriors that McCaw would be back for a third season. In a move toward that end, they extended to McCaw a $1.7 million qualifying offer Tuesday that allows them to match any offer the 6-foot-7 guard receives from another team.
Truth is, the Warriors are very much in the mix because McCaw's value is nowhere near peak. After a promising rookie season, he spent most of his second year battling confidence issues and production. He won't have a lot of leverage.
McCaw then missed the eight weeks with the spinal injury, returning May 26 and playing a total of 16 minutes over the final six postseason games.
"It's a blessing to be healthy again," McCaw told NBC Sports Bay Area before Game 3 in Cleveland. "And I appreciate all the support from fans, my teammates and everybody here (with the Warriors)."
Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who entered the offseason talking of significant roster changes, has since implied that there could be fewer than initially thought. Aside from the big names expected to hit the market, teams are expected to be particularly prudent in doling out big money to role players.
There is a chance that a soft market also would improve the chances of the Warriors re-signing backup big man Kevon Looney, an unrestricted free agent. They can't offer more than $2.2 million, but there are legitimate questions whether he will receive an offer large enough to persuade him to leave only team he has known.