Shaun Livingston Free Agency: Clippers, 76ers Among Best Fits

Getty Shaun Livingston is set to become a free agent.

The Golden State Warriors cut ties with veteran Shaun Livingston on Tuesday and the well-traveled point guard will soon be in search of his next stop.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Livingston would be looking for a new team next season as the Warriors continue their cap crunch. Livingston, 33, was due to make $7.7 million this season. He’s guaranteed more than $2 million of that money, which the Warriors will spread out over the next three seasons.

Livingston still hopes to play in the NBA and would be a key piece for a contender looking to add an experienced guard off the bench. He’s averaged around 15 minutes per game the last two seasons with the Warriors. However, there were reports at the end of the season that Livingston — the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 draft — was weighing retirement.

“It’s just all the signs on the wall,” Livingston told The Athletic. “And just more so from a physical standpoint. If I’m healthy and having fun, then I want to play. But physically, if I’m not … Like, I put so much work in my body just to get back to playing basketball, let alone get to this point where I’m at.”

Livingston is not going to be an explosive scorer for a team, but he is still a capable veteran presence that can eat up minutes in big games. He won three championships with the Warriors and played in five NBA Finals — something most veteran free agents don’t have on their resumes.
Here are some teams that could benefit from adding Livingston.

Philadelphia Would Welcome Livingston in Young Rotation

If Livingston is willing to go to the East Coast, he would be a nice fit with the new-look 76ers. All-Star Ben Simmons is the starter, but behind him, there’s not a lot of proven talent to run the second unit.

The team signed Raul Neto this offseason, who spent his first four season in the NBA with the Utah Jazz. The Brazilian averaged 14.2 minutes during his time in Utah, and has career averages of 4.8 points and 1.9 assists.

Second-year guard Shake Milton is also on the depth chart, but the 76ers could decide to use Zhaire Smith — the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 draft — at point guard as well. After missing most of his rookie season with a fractured foot, Smith has had a strong showing in Summer League play. He’s averaged 28 minutes, 14 points 3.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.

With a long-wingspan of nearly seven-feet, Livingston would fit in well defensively with the 76ers, could provide some big minutes if Philly makes a run to the NBA Finals and mentor the younger players along the way.

Clippers Would Be Appropriate Final Stop For Livingston

Shaun Livingston’s horrific 2007 knee injury changed his career trajectory

It was 15 years ago that the Clippers took Livingston with the No. 4 overall pick out of high school. Livingston played three years for the Clippers, averaging a career-best 9.2 PPG and 5.1 assists in 2007 before his season was cut short by a career-altering knee injury.

“My knee just wasn’t under me,” Livingston said, recalling the injury which came on a straight-forward layup attempt.

With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George now occupying the star roles with the Clippers, Livingston could head south to link up with the team that drafted him and have a shot to get back to a sixth consecutive NBA Finals.

Patrick Beverley and second-year guard Landry Shamet are slated to occupy the starting spots in the Clippers backcourt, while reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams will provide the ball-handing and scoring off the bench.

With his defensive prowess, size and veteran savvy, Livingston would be a nice fit in the rotation for 10 to 15 minutes per game as the Clippers enter a season laden with expectations.

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