Shaun Livingston may forever be known for the gruesome knee injury he suffered as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers earlier in his career, but he will have a chance to continue to add to his redemption story as a member of the Golden State Warriors during the 2014-15 NBA season. The team announced the move on Friday:
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski provided the details of Livingston's new contract:
The Warriors' deal with Shaun Livingston will be three years, $16 million, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
Livingston's deal with Warriors will be for three years, with a partial guarantee in final season, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
Andre Iguodala tweeted his reaction:
Is it true????? We got S Dot!?????!!!!!— Andre Iguodala (@andre) July 2, 2014
David Aldridge of NBA.com spoke briefly with Livingston about the news:
Just got off the phone w/ Shaun Livingston. "Long time coming," he said. Brooklyn's contract limitations (only had taxpayer MLE) big factor.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2014
He said Jason Kidd's bizarre departure from the Nets was not a major factor for him. "But Jason's situation didn't help matters," he said.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2014
Steph Curry commented on the news via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Livingston, 28, has bounced around the league since being drafted fourth overall in 2004 by the Clippers. He has played for eight different organizations during his career, with his longest stint being with the Clippers from his rookie season until 2007-08, which he missed due to injury.
The journeyman averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds behind 48.3 percent shooting from the field during the 2013-14 regular season for the Brooklyn Nets. In the postseason, he improved his scoring to 9.7 points a night behind 51.2 percent shooting from the field and appeared to get the better of the one-on-one matchup at times against Dwyane Wade in the second round.
Though he didn’t put up eye-popping numbers, it was an impressive and important season for Livingston, as he further removed himself from that injury. There were numerous occasions when he looked like the most athletic player on the floor for the Nets, which likely contributed to the Warriors' decision to sign him.
The fact that he played a career-high 76 games and made a career-high 54 starts this past season certainly played a role as well.
Livingston’s decision to sign with Golden State reveals a change in his offseason thinking, as he discussed his willingness to re-sign with the Nets after they lost to the Miami Heat in the postseason, via Roderick Boone of Newsday:
Yeah, I would like to. You know, they gave me an opportunity. I think it was a great look, chemistry and fit-wise. Playing for Jason obviously has been a huge benefit for me in learning the game. Being on this platform, this stage, I'm very grateful. I just tried to take advantage of it this year.
Livingston earned $1.27 million in Brooklyn for the 2013-14 season, so money certainly played a factor in this decision, although Boone pointed out it wasn’t the only thing in play:
Shaun Livingston said he's like to return to #Nets next season. Suggested he's going to mull winning over money.— Rod Boone (@rodboone) May 15, 2014
It's important to remember that Livingston is still firmly in his prime at 28 years old and actually has less seasoning in the form of NBA minutes on his legs than other players at his age. Of course, the flip side is that he has an injury history.
The Warriors will certainly benefit from Livingston’s versatility. He can play shooting guard or point guard, which means he can slide into the starting lineup or anchor the second unit. His length and athleticism won't make him a weakness on the defensive end, and the post-up game he displayed during the postseason is a wrinkle in his offensive arsenal that will likely come out at times with his new squad.
Along with Livingston, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Stephen Curry give the Warriors plenty of versatility, should none of them move during the offseason. With rumors surrounding Kevin Love joining the team via trade, according to the San Jose Mercury News' Diamond Leung, the roster being shaken up even more isn't out of the question.
If nothing else, NBA fans everywhere would like to see Livingston stay healthy all year.