Shaun Livingston has had one of his best seasons as a pro with Brooklyn this year, providing stability and athleticism at the guard position while starting in 43 of his 65 appearances.
Livingston will be a free agent this summer, and all signs point to him cashing in if he gets the chance. He’s been on essentially minimum salary deals since suffering the horrific knee injury early in his career, and making the most money possible in what may be his final chance to do so on a long-term deal would obviously make the most sense.
Nets GM Billy King spoke with reporters before Friday’s win over the Celtics, and said he has every intention of re-signing Livingston, but admitted that the finances might be a challenge.
King also used his 10-minute session with the media Friday to applaud the job of Kidd and proclaim that re-signing impending free agent Shaun Livingston is “priority No. 1.”
Two days after Livingston hinted to the Daily News that he’s keen on signing a big contract – one the Nets can’t afford because they’re over the cap – King laid out his own options for Livingston.
“The market will set itself and then he’ll have to make a decision that’s best for him,” he said. “Do you take a million more to play and lose?”
That answer for Livingston will almost certainly be a resounding “yes.”
Livingston knows that his role with the Nets has played a part in the value he’s now earned, but he also is well aware that this might be his best chance to secure a multi-year deal for more than the Nets have to offer.
Brooklyn will likely have a mid-level exception to give to Livingston, which will be in the neighborhood of just over $3 million per year. But if he can get more elsewhere, or if he can gain the security of more years on his next contract, Livingston will likely (and wisely) sign for the most money possible.