Shaun Livingston can sleep happy knowing he still has one guaranteed year with the Golden State Warriors. He is set to be paid $5.8 million next season.
His “Death Lineup” contemporaries have since joined other teams. They were let go by the Warriors to make room for Kevin Durant. He did not share a similar fate as the Warriors thought he was too valuable to their offense.
While Livingston provides the team with much-needed continuity next season, his services may no longer be required once the quartet of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson Kevin Durant and Draymond Green starts to gel.
Curry will also become a free agent next summer. Signing him to a lucrative extension will be the Warriors’ top priority in 2017. As for Livingston, he will likely receive far better offers from other teams than what the cap-stricken Warriors can pay him.
Having already claimed an NBA championship, and possibly another one next season, the 30-year-old Illinois native might choose financial stability over rings as he approaches the waning years of his NBA career.
Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The team’s back court is brimming with young talent, but lack veteran leadership now that Kobe Bryant has retired. Standing 6-foot-7, Livingston is a combo guard extraordinaire. His experience would greatly benefit D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.
Both players could play either the point guard or shooting guard position. However, they often struggle to coordinate with one another on the court. Livingston could help them in that regard.
Hoops Habit reported that Livingston is the quintessential second-team guard. He has the height advantage over opposing point guards and can carry the team on offense, if need be. He is a steady playmaker who has no qualms playing alongside trigger-happy teammates.
Livingston bounced from team to team after suffering a horrendous knee injury in 2007. He has clearly found a home in the Bay Area. That could soon change once money from the league’s new TV deal starts bleeding into each franchise. Mitch Kupchak and Livingston’s former coach Luke Walton will surely be waiting for him in Tinseltown.