Shaun Livingston

Warriors Notes: McCaw, Livingston, Durant, Kerr

Patrick McCaw will probably accept the Warriors’ qualifying offer before training camp opens, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. A restricted free agent, McCaw has been waiting all summer for a team to offer more than Golden State’s QO of $1.7MM.

A disappointing second season contributed to McCaw’s current situation. His 2-point and 3-point shooting percentages both declined, and his scoring and rebounding numbers didn’t improve, even with a slight increase in playing time. Still, McCaw will likely remain in the rotation if he returns to Golden State, which may not be guaranteed if he signs elsewhere.

Both parties have leverage in the standoff, Slater notes. The Warriors can match any offer that McCaw receives, while he and his representatives know that the team can only offer minimum deals to potential replacements. With 13 players under contract, Golden State plans to give the 14th roster spot to McCaw while keeping the final one open.

Slater passes along more Warriors info in his mailbag column:

  • Golden State will have to make a decision on Shaun Livingston‘s partially guaranteed contract for 2019/20 by June 30, and the team’s choice may reflect how negotiations are going in other areas. Livingston has a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 deal and could be a welcome source of savings for a team that’s already well over the cap with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both heading toward free agency and Draymond Green eligible for an extension. Livingston will turn 33 next week and it could be an easy decision if his game declines this season.
  • Damian Jones is the best bet to start at center when the season begins. Jordan Bell is the most talented candidate and will probably inherit the job once DeMarcus Cousins leaves in free agency, while Kevon Looney‘s reliable defense puts him in the discussion. Slater expects Jones to win the job unless he has an awful preseason, with Bell eventually taking over until Cousins is healthy enough to return in January or February.
  • Durant hasn’t made any decisions about his future, but he may be looking for a long-term deal next summer. The Warriors will have his full Bird Rights for the first time since he joined the organization and he may want security at age 31, whether that means a five-year contract with Golden State or a four-year deal elsewhere.
  • Coach Steve Kerr was able to make it through last season without major health issues, but the pain resulting from his back surgery hasn’t gone away. Kerr had to take two leaves of absences in the wake of the operation, but his recent contract extension is a sign that the issue is under control.

Pacific Notes: Beasley, James, Livingston, Temple

In a somewhat surprising move, the Lakers plan to sign veteran forward Michael Beasley to a one-year, $3.5MM deal, using a significant portion of their room exception. Beasley enjoyed a rejuvenated season with the Knicks in 2017/18, averaging 13.2 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 74 games (30 starts).

Beasley reportedly had opportunities to sign with teams that offered more playing time, but a tough free agent market made the $3.5MM salary hard to pass up, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. Also, Beasley has familiarity with LeBron James, as he played alongside the four-time NBA MVP with the Heat.

Since the Lakers signed James away from the Cavaliers, the team has further added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and now Beasley. While it may not be the super team fans had hoped for, it’s an interesting conglomerate of talent.

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • Speaking of James, he made his first public appearance last Sunday to watch his new team in action at NBA Summer League. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke to several Lakers’ executives who were on hand and discussed the prospect of James in Los Angeles and his role on the team. One executive actually believes the Lakers’ best lineup would be with James at center.
  • Shaun Livingston has been a valuable reserve for the Warriors as the team has dominated the NBA the past half-decade, winning three championships in the past four years. Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke to Livingston during his basketball camp in New York City, where Livingston addressed the Warriors’ success and the perception that Golden State has “ruined” the league with their super team.
  • Ever since Zach LaVine‘s offer sheet was matched by the Bulls, the Kings have not made any major additions to the team this offseason. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes that the Kings’ low-key approach thus far is okay and helps the team in the future.
  • The Grizzlies sent $1.5MM to the Kings as part of the trade for Garrett Temple , tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That figure is the equivalent of Deyonta Davis‘ salary, which would therefore be covered by Memphis if the Kings choose to waive him.

Clark Crum contributed to this post.

Andre Iguodala Considered Doubtful For Game 2

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is doubtful to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, coach Steve Kerr informed the media, including ESPN’s Marc Spears (Twitter link).

Iguodala hasn’t played since banging knees with the Rockets’ James Harden in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. In his absence, Kevon Looney has seen his role expand and Shaun Livingston has also gotten more playing time.

The Warriors have labeled Iguodala’s injury as a left lateral leg contusion/bone bruise.

Suspensions May Result From Game 1 Fracas

A scuffle in the waning seconds of Thursday night’s contest may leave some key players suspended for Game 2, writes Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is expected to receive some form of penalty for shoving the ball in Draymond Green‘s face after being tossed out of Game 1 for committing a Flagrant 2 foul. Kevin Love may also face a suspension for leaving the bench during the incident. Love, who was quickly pulled off the court by an assistant coach, said he doesn’t believe any disciplinary action is warranted.

“I was already on the court trying to get the refs’ attention before the scuffle,” he explained.

The altercation started when Golden State’s Shaun Livingston attempted a jumper with the shot clock expiring in the final seconds of overtime. Thompson hit Livingston in the chest with his elbow as he tried to block the shot and later expressed anger that the Warriors didn’t accept the clock violation.

“I contested a shot that shouldn’t have been taken,” Thompson said. “I mean, it’s like the unspoken rule in the NBA: If you’re up 10 or 11 with about 20 seconds left, you don’t take that shot. I make the contest, and next thing I know, I was being kicked out for making a contest that we learn in training camp. I don’t know why I got thrown out.”

Livingston and Klay Thompson stepped in to prevent Green from retaliating, which likely saved him from being suspended.
Livingston defended his decision after the game, claiming that taking the shot was the right play to make.

“I say that we don’t take the turnover. I don’t take the turnover,” he said.Kevin [Durant] threw me the ball, and he threw it to me like we were still playing. J.R. [Smith] was still guarding him, you know. No disrespect. We just play the game. So, that’s what it was. … It’s the Finals. It’s all love. … It was like a YMCA pickup game in the last 30 seconds.”

Warriors Injury Notes: Curry, Durant, Livingston

2:18pm: The Warriors have issued an update on Curry after today’s evaluation, announcing that he’s making progress and will begin participating in “modified” team practices on Saturday. Curry will be re-evaluated again in one week, according to the team.

8:52am: Stephen Curry, recovering from a knee injury, is still not close to returning to action, multiple sources tell Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. According to Thompson, Curry will be evaluated again on Friday, but he isn’t believed to be in the final stages of his rehab process.

The Warriors hold a 3-0 lead on the Spurs in their first-round series, so the team isn’t clamoring to get Curry back to face San Antonio. Still, the Dubs would certainly like to have the two-time MVP back to start the second round, and that’s no lock.

As Thompson notes, the Western Conference semifinals could begin as early as April 28 if the Warriors and Pelicans finish off their first-round opponents quickly — both teams are currently up 3-0. Per Thompson, Curry’s MCL injury may need a full six weeks to heal, which would put him on track to return around May 4. Depending on what Golden State’s second-round schedule looks like, that could result in a return for Game 3 of the Western semis.

Meanwhile, a pair of other key Warriors suffered ankle injuries during Thursday’s win in San Antonio, but those injuries – to Kevin Durant and Shaun Livingston – aren’t believed to be serious. Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes after Game 3 that his ankle just did a “quick roll” rather than a full turn, and insisted he’s “fine.”

As for Livingston, head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that injury looks slightly worse than Durant’s, but he didn’t sound overly concerned about the veteran point guard.

“Both sprained ankles,” Kerr said. “But I think they’ll be all right.”

Nikola Mirotic, 15 Others Become Trade-Eligible

Today is January 15, which means that trade restrictions have lifted for most of the rest of the NBA’s 2017 offseason signees. While the majority of those ’17 free agents became trade-eligible on December 15, there was a small subset of free agent signees whose trade ineligibility lasted for another month.

The 16 players whose trade restrictions lift today meet a specific set of criteria: Not only did they re-sign with their previous teams this offseason, but they received raises of at least 20%, their salaries are worth more than the minimum, and their teams were over the cap, using Bird or Early Bird rights to sign them.

The most notable name in this group is Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic. He’s not the best player on the list — Blake Griffin and Kyle Lowry would be among those vying for that honor. But Mirotic is the most likely player to be dealt out of the 16 guys becoming trade-eligible today. He has been linked to a handful of teams already, including the Jazz, Pistons, and Trail Blazers.

Here are the 16 players becoming trade-eligible today:

With three and a half weeks left until this season’s February 8 trade deadline, nearly all of the NBA’s players are now eligible to be dealt. The only players still ineligible to be moved are those who signed free agent contracts later than October 15, plus certain players who signed contract extensions in the offseason.

Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (January 17), Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson (January 19), and Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (January 22) are now the only remaining players who will become trade-eligible between today and February 8. For the full list of players who won’t become trade-eligible before this year’s deadline, click here.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Young, Livingston, Cauley-Stein, Booker

The Lakers are in the midst of another losing season and it has taken a toll on the young team. Head coach Luke Walton held a meeting for the team instead of practice on Thursday to give players a chance to air their grievances, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. 

Last week, Lakers veteran Andrew Bogut agreed that certain players on the team are frustrated and it has impacted their performance. A lot of L.A.’s focus is on the impending free agent market, where the team is expected to pursue top-notch talent. That has left some players on the roster with less playing time and the impression that they are mere placeholders.

“There’s some frustration,” Walton said. “But there’s frustration on every team unless you win every game. Whenever you lose games, there’s frustration, people want to play more as everyone in the league should want to play more.”

Entering play on Friday, the Lakers are 11-22, 13th place in the Western Conference. Much has been made of rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma this season, and left others, such as Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, in a bind. There is a likelihood that several players on the current roster will not be there after the trade deadline, thus making the team’s future clearer.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston spoke to Logan Murdock of the Mercury News to discuss his role on the team, adjusting with Stephen Curry injured, and dealing with his own injury. Livingston said that Golden State expects to win even if one of their All-Star’s is out. “I think what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s been expected to be honest with you. For us, as players, we believe in ourselves, we believe in our game,” he said.
  • In a wide-ranging interview with Marcus Thompson II of The Atheltic (subscription required and recommended), Warriors sharpshooter Nick Young discussed his adjustment to the Warriors and appreciation for life in Oakland.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein has played so well recently, the Kings are starting to see the development of the supreme talent they thought they drafted three years ago, Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee relays. “These last games, I’m seeing what I was hoping for when I drafted Willie,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. “He runs, he scores, he blocks shots, he scores in the post. He does everything. And we noticed last summer how much harder he was working. There were questions, but I don’t think so anymore. If he keeps developing like this, he will be an elite center in this league.”
  • Devin Booker, who is just 21 years old, will be a key piece of the Suns‘ future and he will have input into all of the team’s decisions, including coaching and free agency signings. Scott Bordow of the Arizona Central Sports writes that Suns general manager Ryan McDonough views Booker an important “partner in the process” of competing over the next decade.

Warriors’ Shaun Livingston Suspended One Game

Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has been suspended for Monday’s game against the Pelicans for an altercation with official Courtney Kirkland, the league announced in a press release. The NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Kiki VanDeWeghe, determined that Livington deserved a one-game penalty without pay for aggressively approaching Kirkland after a non-call and bumping heads with the official.

The incident, which occurred in the second quarter of the Warriors’ victory over the Heat on Sunday, resulted in Livingston’s ejection for making contact with an official. Livingston, who re-signed with the Warriors over the summer for three years and $24MM, is averaging 4.7 PPG and 2.0 APG in 15.2 MPG in his usual role of backing up Stephen Curry.

VanDeWeghe also ruled that Kirkland would be removed from the league’s officiating rotation for one week. Kirkland moved toward Livingston and shared responsibility for the contact, according to the review.

Warriors Re-Sign Shaun Livingston

JULY 14: The Warriors have formally re-signed Livington, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.Shaun Livingston vertical

JUNE 30: The Warriors have come to terms on a three-year, $24MM contract with veteran guard Shaun Livingston, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. The third year of Livingston’s new deal is only partially guaranteed, tweets Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The salaries are $8MM for each of the first two years, with a $2MM guarantee for 2019/20.

Last season, the 31-year-old averaged 5.1 points and 1.8 assists per game for the Warriors, establishing himself as a heady, reliable option off the bench for the star-studded squad.

The reported $24MM agreement falls short of what ESPN’s Chris Haynes had offered up as a possible price point for Livingston earlier this week. On Tuesday we wrote that Haynes had projected Livingston could earn in the $10MM-$12MM range annually.

Livingston’s family helped convince him to stay with the Warriors and take less money that he could have gotten on the open market, relays Marcus Thompson of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).

The agreement with Livingston virtually ensures that Golden State will exceed the tax apron, according to cap expert Nate Duncan (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kevin Durant Re-Signs With Warriors

JULY 6: Durant has officially re-signed with the Warriors, per RealGM’s transactions log.

JULY 3: Kevin Durant has agreed to a two-year, $53MM contact with the Warriors, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com tweets. The second year will be a player option, Haynes adds in another tweet. Durant’s salary for next season will be $25MM, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.Kevin Durant vertical

Durant’s willingness to take far less than a 20% raise aided the Warriors’ efforts to retain their free agents, Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Durant, who opted out of his contract with the full intention of re-signing with Golden State, was eligible to receive a maximum starting salary of $34.65MM. Durant, who made $26.54MM last season, decided to take significantly less than the expected 20% raise that would have secured him a $31.8MM salary for next season.

That is a major reason why the Warriors successfully negotiated new contracts with free agents Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Iguodala, who was sought after by numerous clubs, agreed to a three-year, $48MM deal while Livingston agreed to stay put for three years and $24MM. In essence, as Thompson points out, Durant is gifting part of his salary for next season to his teammates.

Durant’s discount will also help ownership save some money on its luxury tax bill, depending upon how far over the tax line the franchise goes. Durant’s first-year salary will save the franchise approximately $20MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who projects Golden State will now pay $32.4MM instead of $52.4MM in luxury taxes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.