Why Shaun Livingston ending NBA career with Clippers is 'ideal fit'

Why Shaun Livingston ending NBA career with Clippers is 'ideal fit'

Shaun Livingston is looking for one last NBA home. 

The veteran guard, whom the Warriors waived about two weeks ago, told the Peoria Journal Star at his Pride of Peoria basketball camp Thursday that he is hoping to play one final season. Although he still is considering retirement, the 33-year-old told the paper that he has an ideal spot in mind.

Livingston said he wants to return to where his NBA career began and join the Los Angeles Clippers. 

“That would be awesome, the ideal fit,” Livingston said Wednesday. “That would be a part of coming full circle. But it has to work on their end. If there’s a spot, an opportunity, that would probably make the most sense. There’s been some interest (on the Clippers’ part). It’s about whether they’re ready to pull the trigger.”

Livingston joined the Clippers straight out of high school, getting selected No. 4 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. In the middle of his third NBA season, Livingston simultaneously tore the ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus in his left knee and dislocated his patella, tibia and femur. He missed the entirety of the 2007-08 season as he recovered, and played for seven teams over the ensuing six seasons. He signed with the Warriors in 2014 and proceeded to win three NBA titles with Golden State. 

The Warriors waived Livingston early this offseason so the team could stay below the "hard cap" in the aftermath of D'Angelo Russell's sign-and-trade. Livingston's minutes declined in each of the last three seasons, but Steve Kerr told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami earlier this month that Livingston will leave behind a void.

"Man, I am sad," Kerr said at the time. "Shaun is just an incredible human being. So poised and measured, mature, smart. We are going to miss him."

There is a chance Livingston does not play next season. He detailed to the Journal Star that his body requires maintenance on a daily basis as the devastating leg injury "has become more troublesome with age." Livingston thinks he can be a valuable mentor and veteran contributor but is OK with the possibility that he has played his last NBA game. 

“Rosters are being filled up right now,” he said. “If an opportunity comes up and it makes sense on my end, I’ll jump at that opportunity. If it doesn’t, it’s been a helluva ride.”

[RELATED: Exec says Warriors' demise has teams asking 'Why not us?']

The Clippers are in a much different position than when Livingston began his career with the team. The franchise now is owned by Steve Ballmer and brought in reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and two-way star Paul George in a blockbuster summer. They have 14 players under contract, but nearly $5 million in space below the luxury tax. That's more than enough to sign Livingston for the veteran's minimum (just over $2.5 million).

Whether or not Livingston suits up for the Warriors' re-loaded division rival remains to be seen, but it's easy to see why the prospect of winning one more ring in the place his career began -- and nearly ended -- appeals to the veteran guard. 

NBA rumors: Warriors assign Kevon Looney to G League in Santa Cruz

NBA rumors: Warriors assign Kevon Looney to G League in Santa Cruz

Kevon Looney reportedly is headed to Surf City.

Golden State assigned the big man to its G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, a source told Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Looney is not expected to play in any games for Santa Cruz, a source told Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle.

Looney played in the Warriors' season opener but then was shut down because of a neuropathy condition.

On Nov. 6, the Warriors announced that they "are hopeful and encouraged that the treatment plan prescribed for him will allow Kevon to return to action in the near future. An update on his expected return-to-play timeline will be provided in two weeks."

Wednesday will be the official two-week mark, so it's unclear if there will be another update provided then.

Santa Cruz's next game is Thursday at 7pm PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Looney made 12 appearances for the Sea Dubs in 2015-16, and four in 2016-17.

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Why Steve Kerr hasn't called Phil Jackson to talk Warriors' struggles

Why Steve Kerr hasn't called Phil Jackson to talk Warriors' struggles

Steve Kerr has learned a lot from Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson over the years, and still considers the "Zen Master" one of his mentors.

But as the Warriors' coach continues to navigate this difficult season, he won't be leaning on Jackson for advice.

"Phil doesn’t know anything about a losing team," Kerr recently told Mark Medina of USA Today Sports, before laughing. "So there’s no point in calling him."

Jackson -- who won 11 NBA titles with the Bulls (six) and Lakers (five) -- never experienced a losing campaign in 20 seasons as an NBA head coach.

He boasts a regular season record of 1155 wins and 485 losses, and a playoff record of 229 wins and 104 losses.

Over his first five years with Golden State, Kerr's win percentage was even higher -- as he went 322-88 during the regular season and 77-28 in the postseason.

But the Warriors are 2-12 this season and it's not crazy to think they could finish with the worst record in the league.

So while Kerr's win-loss mark is going to take a hit, it might end up helping in the long run if the Warriors secure a top-3 pick in the 2020 draft.

[RELATEDTop NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball is a big fan of Steph]

“The goal is to try to win every game," Kerr told Medina. "The reality is we’re not (doing) enough to do so right now. The other stuff, we don’t control. Whatever happens, happens.

"Our goal is to go out there and try to perform our best every night, get better and try to build something positive.”

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