The Golden State Warriors and Shaun Livingston have agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. The deal quickly ends any speculation about the point guard’s future and whether he would consider leaving Golden State even after winning two rings in three years.
Livingston has spent his last three years in Golden State and now he’ll spend three more. He’s a perfect backup point guard for the team — while he doesn’t shoot threes, he has a reliable mid-range game, rarely makes mistakes with the ball, and is highly versatile on defense with his 6’7 frame. While Livingston will turn 32 in September, he has a game that should continue to age well.
The quick signing is at contrast with the Warriors’ other bench player, Andre Iguodala, who is meeting with the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings in the near future. The Warriors are facing extreme luxury tax penalties in the coming years, something that deals to Livingston and especially Iguodala will exacerbate. Still, if any team shouldn’t bat an eye at paying that, it’s Golden State.
What does Livingston provide to the Warriors?
Livingston is a change of pace guard in every sense of the phrase. Where Stephen Curry will fly down court and launch 30-foot bombs, Livingston is calm, under control, and will patiently work the mid-range. He doesn’t shoot threes (never has), but finds ways to be effective off the ball with his constant cuts and backdoor screens that come perfectly within the Warriors offense. Livingston has swung playoff games, and when he’s struggling, you can reduce his role without too much trouble. Overall, he’s just a perfect role player.
What about his contract?
The aforementioned luxury tax aside, this is an excellent deal for both sides. Livingston gets three years of security, while $8 million per season is more than a fair bargain on Golden State’s side. Remember, it was Livingston who had the catastrophic leg injury three seasons into his career and almost had to have his leg amputated. He has only made about $40 million in his career, so it’s truly amazing to see him make this comeback and now finally be rewarded for his efforts monetarily as well.
Even better for Golden State, the deal is structured like this.
Third year of Shaun Livingston's deal is partially guaranteed, source says. Deal structure appears to be: $8M, $8M, $2M guaranteed— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2017
That means that the Warriors can let him go in 2019 when they have to re-sign Klay Thompson to a huge deal, potentially avoiding millions in luxury tax penalties.