Shaun Livingston agrees to 3-year, $16 million deal with Warriors

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are close to adding more backcourt depth with their first activity in free agency.

The Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement with free agent guard Shaun Livingstonaccording to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports the deal will be for three years for $16 million.

Livingston is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career and parlayed that performance into a long-term deal.

What does he offer on the court?

The eight-year veteran had struggled to find a home since suffering a serious knee injury in 2007. This past season he became a necessary body on a battered Brooklyn squad before becoming a necessary basketball player. Livingston acted as point guard when Deron Williams was hurt and also played off the ball, averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 assists per game.

NBA Free Agency

He also used his length to agitate players on the defensive end, where his most promising signs of his long recovery from the career-threatening injury showed up most. Livingston got his explosiveness back and despite being a poor three-point shooter, slashed his way to 48-percent shooting season.

SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranks Livingston as the No. 24 free agent, and has this to say about him:

"Livingston is one of the better back-up point guards in the NBA. That's a big thing given how important lead guards have become to most NBA offenses."

How does he fit?

The Warriors' uptempo style of basketball could suit Livingston's game well, plus his length and aptitude on the defensive end ought to be a substantial boost for a team that ranked 10th in opponents points per game a season ago.

Perhaps the best aspect of the signing, however, is the fact that Livingston can play both backcourt positions and can guard 1 through 3 without issue. He's exactly the kind of player first-year head coach Steve Kerr can find a role for with relative ease.

Is this a good contract?

At age 28 and coming off his best season since suffering the knee injury, the Warriors are banking on seeing that production again over the next three seasons. If it turns out he's back to form for the foreseeable future, then it's a bargain for a rotation player with his versatility.

His 11.5 points per 36 minutes were a career-high, and what he brings to the table in terms of defensive ability, especially given his 6-foot-7 frame, makes this deal more low-risk-high-reward than anything else.

How does this impact other teams?

The Brooklyn Nets need to find a new everyman in the backcourt who can take pressure off Williams. In the wake of Jason Kidd's departure, it means Brooklyn has more work ahead of it in terms of competing among the Eastern Conference elite next season.

For the teams out West, it signals that the Warriors just added another component player to the rotation that may yield big dividends in the postseason. For a team on the horizon such as Golden State, one piece could take them from a middling threat to a dangerous opponent.

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