The Warriors had to get rid of a lot of the depth that was one of their strengths to make room for Kevin Durant on their roster — which is still the right move, he’s Kevin freakin’ Durant. But there’s a price to pay.
One guy who is not going anywhere? Shaun Livingston. Marc Spears of The Undefeated had the details for ESPN.
The decision to retain Livingston had actually been made prior to Durant’s announcement on The Players’ Tribune on Monday. By remaining on the Warriors’ roster as of June 30, Livingston’s remaining $5.8 million became fully guaranteed for next season. The Warriors informed Livingston about their decision to keep him for next season on Monday morning.
Livingston averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 assists primarily as Stephen Curry‘s backup this past season, his second with the Warriors.
The Warriors essentially had to choose between Livingston and Ezeli at that roster price and they went with Livingston, who played a key role in keeping Curry’s minutes in check. The Warriors prioritized players that would fit with the small ball lineups they will roll out most of the time. They filled in the bigs with a $2.9 million contract for Zaza Pachulia.
It’s good to see Livingston, who has seen the ultimate highs and lows in his NBA career, be so highly thought of. That said, a year from now — when Durant opts out to get a new max deal from the Warriors, plus they need to max out Curry — different decisions may be made.