With his eye on bolstering the franchise's future as an Eastern Conference contender, Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King pointed to re-signing Shaun Livingston as the first offseason item to address:
Billy King: re-signing Shaun Livingston is "priority No. 1"— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) March 21, 2014
Nobody can blame King for this line of thinking, as Livingston has been somewhat of a savior for the Nets in 2013-14.
With several huge contracts still on the books next year and beyond, King doesn't have any room to make big splashes this summer. He can, however, do his best to solidify the rotation and lock up a couple key role players like Livingston.
The Nets picked up the 6'7" journeyman guard on a one-year, $1.2 million contract last summer, and it proved to be a colossal steal. After his career was disrupted by knee and leg injuries beginning in 2007, Livingston was largely viewed as damaged goods.
He has done a terrific job backing up Deron Williams and playing alongside him. D-Will has missed 16 games due to injury in 2013-14, and he lost some of the juice that made him an All-Star in the past.
Livingston has thrived in Brooklyn as an off-ball operator and on-ball facilitator. He's already logged career-highs in total minutes, total points and total steals. He's been able to create and make plays within the flow of the game and help buoy the Nets to countless victories.
But will that be enough to keep him around on the cheap?
Livingston has already missed out on a boatload of money throughout his career due to injuries, and he may not want to miss his chance in 2015 and beyond.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News spoke to Livingston about his impending decision. Livingston can earn a three-year, $10 million contract via the mid-level exception with the Nets, but other teams could offer much more:
(My enjoyment with Brooklyn and how I fit) definitely plays a factor. You have to weigh your situations, your options. The reason I’m in a situation where I can demand a contract is because I’m playing for this team, this coach, this system. I realize that and I’m not over my head. But at the same time, it’s a business. You have to look at it like (the next contract) could always be your last.
Despite the financial opportunities elsewhere, there's a chance his enjoyable season and loyalty to Jason Kidd may be the wild card that keeps him in Brooklyn.
Shaun Livingston switched agents last year after signing with #Nets. Now repped by Jeff Schwartz, who's Kidd and DWill agent.— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) March 19, 2014
There is still a whole lot of the 2013-14 season left to be played, including the playoffs. What happens the rest of the way, and subsequently in the early offseason and draft, could greatly influence what Livingston and the Nets are willing and able to do.
If King has his way, "S-Dot" will be donning black and white again next year.
Dan O'Brien covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR