Shaun Livingston was one of the biggest reasons for the Brooklyn Nets turnaround in 2014. Once the veteran guard was inserted into the lineup the Nets immediately showed more cohesiveness on the court.
Now, Livingston is a free agent and several teams are expected to make a run at him.
One of the first teams being mentioned is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota can offer the lengthy guard its full mid-level exception, a contract that could amount to four-years, and in excess of $20 million. The highest offer the Nets could make is by offering him their full mini mid-level exception which values at $3.3 million a season.
Nets general manager Billy King has stated that re-signing Livingston this offseason is a “top priority” for Brooklyn.
In an interview with CiNewsNow.com, Livingston stated, “I would love to be back in Brooklyn. It just comes down to if both sides can come to an agreement.”
Livingston is the type of player head coach Jason Kidd trusts and wants on his team. Kidd was the one in offseason that urged for the Nets to bring in Livingston. The move certainly paid dividends as Livingston enjoyed his best season of his ten-year career.
As the Nets turned their season around, Kidd decided to insert Livingston into the starting lineup and move Deron Williams to the shooting guard position. Livingston was a key component in Kidd’s small-ball style scheme as he could distribute the ball, create his own shot and defend some of the opponent’s best offensive players.
In the Nets second round defeat versus the Miami Heat, Livingston spent plenty of time guarding both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. When Wade was defending Livingston on the opposite end, the Nets would often post-up Livingston as they tried to exploit his height over Wade.
Last year, Livingston signed with the Nets on a one-year deal worth $1.27 million. Based off his play he will get a significant pay raise.
Minnesota surely will not be the only competitor for Livingston. Expect his name to be brought more so once there is a feel for where the top free agents will go.
An athletic 6’7″ point guard who is a high quality perimeter defender and can create his own shot on offense will certainly be a hot commodity on the free agent market.