As expected, the Golden State Warriors have waived backup point guard Shaun Livingston, whose $7 million contract was due to be guaranteed on Wednesday.
Livingston, 33, was a part of all three NBA title teams over the last five years, but was not expected to return. He had contemplated retirement, but ESPN has reported that he wants to continue playing, though he has considered joining the front office.
A part of all three Golden State title teams in the last five years, Livingston agreed to move back his guarantee date (initially June 10) so that the Warriors could have a clearer picture of their 2019-20 payroll before making a decision.
The sign-and-trade deal that brought D’Angelo Russell to Golden State and sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn meant that Golden State had to stay under a hard cap of $139 million. That ended any chance they had of signing Livingston, who will now get $2 million stretched out over the next three seasons.
“Shaun was a huge part of three NBA championship teams with the Warriors, but his overall journey is what is most remarkable,” Warriors Co-Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob said in a statement. “He overcame incredible odds following a devastating injury, wore nine different NBA uniforms during his comeback, had a stint in the D-League and, fittingly, ended up being a major contributor on one of the best teams in NBA history.”
A former No. 4 overall pick in 2004 out of high school by the Los Angeles Clippers, Livingston suffered what was thought to be a career-ending injury on Feb. 26, 2007. As he landed after a fast-break layup, Livinston broke his left leg, dislocated his left knee cap and tore his anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus, while spraining his medial collateral ligament. Doctors briefly considered amputating the leg.
After he was finally cleared to play again in 2008, he bounced around to seven different NBA teams — and one Development League team — before landing with Golden State for their first of three title runs.
Livingston went to five consecutive NBA Finals, becoming just the second player in NBA history to complete a tenure of at least five seasons with a team having made an NBA Finals appearance in each season, joining Tom Heinsohn, who did so in all nine of his seasons with the Boston Celtics from 1956-57 to 1964-65.
In 367 regular season games (15 starts) with Golden State, Livingston averaged 5.4 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 17.5 minutes. He appeared in an additional 102 postseason games, fifth-most in franchise history.
This season, with his left knee flaring up — along with right foot and neck injuries — Livingston missed 16 games and averaged a career-low in points (4.0) and second-lowest in assists (1.8).
With the official announcement of the signing of Glenn Robinson III, Golden State now has 14 players projected on their 2019-20 roster, 10 of whom are 25 or younger. Because the Warriors are now just $219,000 below the hard cap, they don’t have enough room to accommodate even a minimum contract, meaning that they will likely enter next season with an open roster spot.