Shaun Livingston is back with the Warriors, this time as a member of the front office and player mentor, and it could not come at a better time.
The young team is in need of veteran voices that understand the Warriors system and expectations for an NBA title run.
While the team added Livingston, as well as Leandro Barbosa to be those voices, and are counting on bringing in some active veterans to boost their chances at contending, they also will be relying on newcomer Andrew Wiggins to take another step in his development towards becoming an efficient offensive weapon, a reliable defender and a trustworthy teammate.
The Warriors front office and coaching staff are intrigued and optimistic that Wiggins can fulfill their lofty goals. Livingston is one of them.
"I think it's going to be a good fit," Livingston said on the Runnin' Plays podcast this week. "You got Steph, Klay and Draymond, you got three guys that elevate other players, they make other players better with their skill set alone, not even who they are, not even just their personalities. From that standpoint, I think it's a good fit."
Wiggins, who was once labeled the next future face of the NBA, is a former No. 1 overall draft pick that never lived up to the billing. Many around the NBA have questioned his will and desire to win, as well as wondered if his defensive efforts have been subpar. It has seemed in the past that his quiet, unassuming demeanor has inspired some of those critiques.
"[He's] misunderstood, a little bit, it felt like," Livingston explained while discussing his own experiences competing against Wiggins over the years.
As for Wiggins on the defensive end, Livingston feels like the talent is there.
"Playing against him, I think he is an underrated defender, not a lot of people give him credit for," Livingston said.
"He's a guy that can guard multiple positions, he's a phenomenal athlete. I feel like he will be able to make the necessary reads and switches, and guard multiple positions, kind of what you're seeing from where the league is going."
If Wiggins can become a defender that can be trusted every night to take on the opponent's best offensive wing weapon, the Warriors will be elated.
So what makes Livingston so confident that Wiggins has these abilities?
"[Wiggins is] incredibly talented, incredibly talented, all the tools," Livingston proclaimed.
"I just want to see him out there, I'm anxious to see him play, and just to talk with him as well"