Report: Livingston Agrees With Warriors

07.01.14 3 years ago
Shaun Livingston

Shaun Livingston (Tom Szczerbowski, USATODAY Sports)

One of basketball’s feel-good stories just keeps getting better. According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, former Brooklyn Nets guard Shaun Livingston has agreed to a 3-year, $16 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.

That Livingston will receive the full mid-level exception from Golden State is a minor miracle considering the trajectory of his career. The fourth overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft and selected straight out of high school, Livingston was enjoying a breakout third season with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007 when he suffered one of the most gruesome knee injuries basketball has ever seen (link; warning: graphic). He somehow beat excessively long odds to play again and was signed by the Miami Heat a year-and-a-half later, but bounced around between several teams and the D-League until landing with the Nets last summer. Livingston far exceeded even optimistic expectations in Brooklyn last season, emerging as a cog of the Nets’ small-ball attack and starting 64 games, including 10 in the playoffs.

The problem for Brooklyn? Livingston’s performance left them with no chance of re-signing him this summer, leading to this deal with Golden State.

He’s a perfect fit for the Warriors in several respects. At 6-7 with great length and solid athleticism, Livingston is a very good defender that can capably check three positions. His rare playmaking knack will allow Steph Curry to play off the ball at times, and Livingston boasts one of the most efficient post-games in the league, too. He’s a non-shooter and can be bullied by bigger wings at times, but is the type of versatile, two-way player that can thrive in any system.

And if rumors that Golden State could part with both Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes in a trade for Kevin Love prove true, the Warriors would have a gaping hole on the wing that Livingston fills ably. Though he’s not the shooter of Thompson and lacks the potential of Barnes, Livingston is at least the former’s equal on defense and offers off-dribble dynamism the latter sorely lacks.

Is the Livingston signing a harbinger of bigger things to come in the Bay? That remains to be seen, but he’ll be a fantastic fit with the Warriors regardless. And even if he wasn’t, that Livingston has reached this point at all is reason for celebration.

Would Livingston help make up for the loss of Thompson?

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