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Report: Warriors signing Shaun Livingston, face hard cap

Jul 1, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT

Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston

Shaun Livingston, once a high school-to-NBA phenom, overcame a horrific injury that seemed would end his pro career.

Since spending his first three seasons with the Clippers, suffering the galling knee injury in that third year, Livingston has bounced between the Heat, Thunder, Wizards, Bobcats, Bucks, Wizards again, Cavaliers and Nets. Beyond those first three years in Los Angeles, he didn’t spend more than a single year in one place.

But Livingston had the best season of his career in Brooklyn last year. Starting most of the season, he averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.0 minutes per game as a secondary ball-handler in the backcourt.

Now, he’ll parlay that success into some long-term security with the Warriors, who traded for Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake last season to fill their need for a backup point guard only to see neither really pan out.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Because the Nets are above the apron – projected to be $81 million next season – they couldn’t match Golden State’s offer. Here’s what the Warriors reportedly offered along with the Brooklyn’s maximum-possible offer, which would have come through the taxpayer mid-level exception:

Year Warriors Nets
2014-15 $5,305,000 $3,278,000
2015-16 $5,543,725 $3,425,510
2016-17 $5,782,450* $3,573,020
Total $16,631,175 $10,276,530

*Partially guaranteed

Keep in mind, that would have been only Livingston’s max salary with the Nets. Facing an escalating luxury tax, Brooklyn would have paid much more to secure him – that additional money going to tax payments, not Livingston himself.

That cleared the Warriors, who used the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, to land Livingston.

It also might clear Golden State to trade for Kevin Love.On one hand, the presence of Livingston – who can play both guard positions – might make the Warriors more open to trading Klay Thompson in a Love deal. Livingston adds guard depth, and though he won’t replace Thompson’s budding talent, Livingston softens the blow.

But on the other hand, if these reports are accurate, that means the Warriors face the hard cap this season. They can’t exceed $81 million in team salary.

I currently project a 13-man apron-related team salary for the Warriors would be $70,954,879.Andrew Bogut has unlikely bonuses, according to ShamSports.com, and they would also count in the apron-related salary, but I don’t know their amount. So also add whatever those are.The most popular version of the Love trade – Thompson and David Lee for Love and Kevin Martin – would bring Golden State’s relevant team salary to $75,378,562 (again plus Bogut’s unknown potential bonuses).

That should be enough leeway to remain below the $81 million apron, but it takes some more complicated versions of the deal – along with other trades – off the table.Livingston is probably worth that slightly limited flexibility for all the other ways he’ll help the Warriors. He can back up and play next to Stephen Curry, and building around Curry should be Golden State’s top priority.And quite possibly, Livingston might knock over the dominos that send Love to the Warriors.    

  1. antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    I like what Kevin Pelton said about the related twitter buzz: “…everybody’s real excited about a guard who made one 3-pointer last season.”

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      I didn’t think Livingston was a big deal. Good for him, though. I hope he stays healthy.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Yeah, well, twitter was aflame with celebration for a second.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      Dwayne Wade made nine three pointers last year. Would you be so flippantly dismissive of him based on one stat, too?

      • kb2408 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        Good point, Kevin. Miami could use a player like Livingston. He’s better than both Coles and Chalmers.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Actually, Wade made 18 threes last year if you include the playoffs – which is 8 more than Livingston has made in his entire career!

        So Livingston, 10 career threes. Wade, 350 career threes, including 6 in one game. So… apples and oranges.

        In this era you can’t afford for a guard to be that limited. Wade’s reluctance is bad enough – and it probably represents the modern limit.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        @kb2408 – Miami has no use for a PG who can’t shoot. They rely on spreading the floor and Livingston’s defender can cheat off him all day long.

      • muathjam21 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        I don’t think making threes was a huge point of emphases for the Warriors when looking for depth at the guard position. You know, having two of the best three point shooters in the league at PG and SG.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        The point is guards do more than just shoot threes. Livingston handles, distributes, shoots from mid-range and is versatile enough defensively to guard anyone from point guards to smaller threes. And given the situation he’ll be going to on the Warriors, I’m not sure I’d be worried about the team hurting for space with him on the floor. If the Nets made it work, GSW should have no problem with Steph and Klay (or Love).

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        @muathjam21 – It’s not just the making of the threes. There’s also the problem of how teams defend him. Defenders can cheat off him. You can sag waaaaay off him and beg him to shoot that wide open three, and hope he does. Basically when he’s on the floor that means there’s a defender on the other side who will be able to cover two people at the same time.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        Ethan Strauss ‏@SherwoodStrauss 29m
        Another way to think of the signing is, “The Warriors got someone who can dribble. They really need guys who can dribble.”

      • money2long - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM

        Anti is right. There’s never been a good NBA guard who couldn’t make 3s.
        Smh.
        Him sticking up for wade was expected. Another heat fan wearing double standard goggles.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:46 AM

        @money2long – It’s not 2000 anymore. You can’t be a guard and not shoot threes. Wade’s limitation is a detriment to Miami’s offense and Livingston’s will be even worse for Golden State. The ever rising significance of the three point shot is not going away.

        I’ve been calling out Wade’s three point shooting for a few years now… it’s one of the major reasons why the Heat’s offense is better with a lineup of LeBron and shooters, with Wade on the bench. So I’m consistent here.

      • paleihe - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:21 AM

        Seems like Rondo has done quite well for himself without being a 3 point threat.

        I swear, it seems like many of you posters just make stuff up to suit your needs.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:56 AM

        @paleihe – One might think that Rondo would make for a good example here, but even an artless three point shooter like Rajon is still too capable to match the unique incompetence of Livingston beyond the arc.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:16 AM

        Again, anti, you’re ignoring what actually happened in Brooklyn last year. The Nets’ offense was better with Livingston on the court than it was with him off it, by near two points per 100 possessions. How should that have been possible with a guard who doesn’t shoot threes? Maybe you’re oversimplifying things a bit and ignoring how teams can compensate?

    • unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Oh no, a backup PG can’t shoot threes, we’re doomed!!!

  2. saint1997 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    well that’s a bit boring! No I get why he did the deal, GSW offers a nice place to live and win but still you’d have thought he could take over more minutes on a different team…

  3. 00maltliquor - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    Starting to feel like teams are really overvaluing Livingston.
    Hope he does well though.

    • money2long - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      He gets blocks and steals. He is tall. He can do a lot on the court. He didn’t sign a max contract. How is he over valued.

  4. 00maltliquor - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Alright teams, GMs…let’s get this ball rolling. Let’s ramp it up a smidge, will ya. I’m starting to get bored over here.

    • progress2011 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Siz-urp….I rarely agree wit ya!

      BUT all we’ve had is the media attempting to force feed us soccer/futbol.

      I travel to Europe a lot and I get it…they don’t have a plethora of sports and sports superstars, as we do in the states (Baseball, Football and Basketball).

      BUT….I’m waiting for the NBA season to start already….so, keep me entertained by at least making some moves.

  5. muathjam21 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Obviously this begs that question of whether the Warriors are more likely to trade Thompson for Love, now. Livingston makes that trade a LITTLE bit easier to swallow for those who don’t want Thompson to leave within the organization.

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Curry. Bogut. Livingston. Seems like the Warriors laugh in the face of injury history.

  7. progress2011 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Any scenario that moves Klay Thompson is simply idiotic!!!

    1. Klay is the second leading scorer on the team (he scored only 42 fewer pts than Curry).

    2. He played the most games of any starter and stayed healthy (81 games).

    3. He played the second most minutes of any starter at 35.4 (Curry averaged 36.5 but 3 fewer games)…so he truly played the most minutes.

    4. The rest of his numbers are almost identical to Curry’s (aka the star of the team and All Star).

    Getting rid of your second most productive player is NEVER a good idea…to bring in the likes of Livingston or Martin.

    Klay out played both of them….even if you add their numbers together!

    If you really need to dump a salary….dump Bogut! Dude is is as fragile as a newly hatched egg. Sick of the excuses and the what-if’s. He can never be healthy when this team has needed him…..keep it moving.

    Package Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Blake and Crawford (however many of these guys to make the numbers work) for Love.

    • dluxxx - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Idotic on the part of the Wolves. I don’t want Klay. I think the Wolves can do much better.

  8. lbeezyse - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Blake, crawford, bogut, & barnes for Love? Hahahahaha put down the crack pipe buddy.

  9. enigma2742 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    THE NETS JUST GOTTEN WORSE. THE BROOKLYN NETS WILL NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFF IN THE PATHETIC EASTERN CONFERENCE NEXT YEAR ALL THIS CHAMPIONSHIP OR BUST THEY WOULDNT EVEN GET INTO THE DANCE WHICH IS SAD

  10. ballin99999 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    I think that’s a bit too much for a guy with a TURRIBLE injury history who can’t shoot at all. But I guess they did need a third guard and especially a reliable ball handler behind Curry.

  11. jerdogthompson - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    He’s a good kid and wish him the best in his new home. Was at that game, that horrific game against the Bobcats when that terrible accident occurred. Wish him only the best.

    #InDocwetrust

  12. norcalsportsknowledge - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    Good signing. Now they have the option of playing Curry and Livingston together. Livingston can be PG on offense and guard SG on defense. I thought they would get him or Patty Mills.(because Mills knows Pop’s system,which Kerr will steal from). Sorry, love Klay but look at his playoff PER. If you have to trade him for Love you do it.

  13. JHathwell - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Not sure why people are reading into this as anything more than the Warriors securing a backup PG, which was a position they were way below average at last year.

    Do you really think they would gamble on a Livingston/Curry back court staying healthy for 82 games?

    I mean, cmon now.

    From where I’m sitting it looks like they acquired Livingston for depth and will now seek to lock down Frye as a back-up big and then call it an off-season. The Love thing can always be revisited, but this looks like the move of a team that is going ahead without it.

    • muathjam21 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      It would probably be an Iggy/Curry back court if Klay was traded. Barnes would jump in at the 3, and Livingston/Green off the bench.

      • JHathwell - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:09 AM

        Hard to say this early, considering we have no idea that Steve Kerr’s coaching style is. I’d be worried about AI chasing 2’s around for 82 games.

  14. norcalsportsknowledge - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    Dubs didn’t sign him to start, and you can have a guard who can’t shoot 3’s when you have three other players on the court who can. I do see him playing a lot of mins. w/Curry.

  15. lakerade - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    Good for the depth chart and at a decent price.

  16. unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Nothing wrong with this deal. He brings them depth and for what he lacks in 3 point shooting he makes up with mid range and the ability to take most PGs and even SG’s in the post and score over them.

    I still think the warriors are just a legitimate big man away from getting out of the West.

  17. dluxxx - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I actually hope this move keeps the Warriors from trading with Minny. All this oohing and aahing over Klay, but I’m not really sold on the kid. I actually like the Houston scenario better. Give me Parsons over Klay. He’s a better player, and would be willing to sign and trade for the right money.

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