One of the Brooklyn Nets most valuable players in the 2013-14 season appears to have found a new home. Marc Stein of ESPN reports that free agent point guard Shaun Livingston has agreed to a three-year deal worth $16 million with the Golden State Warriors.
This is a blow to the Nets but certainly not an unexpected one. The most the Nets could offer Livingston was their mini-midlevel exception worth approximately $3 million annually. With the Warriors, Livingston will be making $5.3 million annually.
The final blow to their hopes of retaining Livingston may have happened with sudden departure of coach Jason Kidd. After all, it was Kidd who pushed for the Nets to sign Livingston last offseason. Under Kidd, Livingston had his best season as a pro.
Last year he made just $1.27 million from the Nets. Following last seasons performance, it was evident that Livingston would receive a significant pay raise.
Livingston is going from an aging team that has a highly uncertain future to a young team with a partly clear future despite having a rookie head coach in Steve Kerr.
“It’s the fit. Definitely the fit,” Livingston said. “I want to remain competitive and this is the best opportunity.”
His role will surely be quite different in his new surroundings.
During the second half of the season when the Nets were at their most successful, Livingston was the team’s starting point guard playing next to Deron Williams. Now, he is expected to be coming off the bench in relief of All-Star point guard Stephen Curry and sharp-shooter Klay Thompson.
The goal for Brooklyn will be to now find a backup for Williams. According to Andy Vasquez, Billy King said the former Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson is someone that the Nets will consider.
With free agency having just begun, the Nets have plenty of voids to fill and questions to answer.