Though the Warriors are in no position to make a commitment beyond this season, there is no questioning the wishes of veteran guard Shaun Livingston.
Though he’ll be a free agent next summer, he wants to return to the Warriors. Moreover, he wants to remain a Warrior for as long as he is an active NBA player.
“That would be ideal, right?” Livingston said Wednesday on the Warriors Insider Podcast. “For me, that would be ideal.
“But you just have to wait and see. I’d love to be here. I’d love to, honestly, finish my career here in the Bay. It’s been a great ride, a great three years. If the opportunity presented itself and (there are) similar offers out there, I’d love to come back.”
Livingston, 31, is in third and final season of a $16.6 million contract he signed in July 2014. He joined the team in a defined role, which has not changed. He is the backup point guard, playing 15-25 minutes per game, behind MVP Stephen Curry.
He is averaging 4.9 points (on 57.4-percent shooting) and 17.4 minutes per game this season.
Drafted fourth overall by the Clippers in 2004, Livingston has overcome serious injuries and constant movement – he was with eight previous franchises – before joining the Warriors.
Livingston has been with the Warriors longer than he was with any of his previous employers. Success has followed, as the team won a championship 11 months after he joined it.
“Being where we are now, this is where you want to be ultimately,” he said of the Warriors. “If you’re a professional organization, this is where you want to sit. You want to sit with an opportunity to compete, year in and year out.”
The Peoria, Ill., native wants the Bay Area to be his second home. He and his fiancée recently purchased a home in Oakland.
“We love the vibe so much,” he said. “It’s so culturally diverse. The people are great. There are great restaurants. Just the type of love that the Warriors get, that the people give, just genuine love.
“It kind of hurts me a little bit to see the team is going to San Francisco. I understand the move. But just being on the streets of Oakland and going out, you see people and they’re like, ‘Man, why are you leaving?’ I’m not leaving.”
The Warriors next summer may have to make a choice, as Andre Iguodala also is in the final year of his contract. Both players like the team and the area, and both are highly valued by the coaching staff.