Strengths and Weaknesses
Shaun Livingston had a career year last season, working his way into the Brooklyn starting lineup with his versatility and defense. At 6'7", with a 6'11" wingspan, Livingston can cover guards and small forwards. He is a larger combo guard who can slash, create, and rebound at consistent, though not spectacular, rates. His only glaring weakness is his perimeter shooting; he is a career 20 percent three point shooter.
(And for anyone worried about that terrible three point percentage, don't worry too much. In his entire career, Livingston has never attempted more than an average of 0.3 shots from range. The man clearly knows what his weakness is and avoids it.)
Last season, Livingston started 54 games, averaging 8.3 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game. He hit over 48 percent of his shots last season and had a true shooting percentage of 55 percent. And each of these stats improved in the playoffs. Defensively, the Nets trusted Livingston enough to use him in a Shawn Marion role, covering the opposing team's best perimeter player.
The 2013-14 season was Livingston's best since 2006-07, his third in the league. Once upon a time, Livingston was the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. However, he suffered a gruesome leg injury in that third year of his career, and while he was able to recover, he went from potential star to perennial scrub. Excluding 2013-14, Livingston averaged closer to 6 points, 2.5 assists, and 2 rebounds per game. So the question going forward is whether this season was an anomaly or a sign that Livingston just needed a consistent role on a playoff-caliber team to live up to some of his previous potential.
If 2014-15 Shaun Livingston looks anything like the 2013-14 version, then he should easily earn what will probably be a decent pay raise when he is signed this offseason. He should draw plenty of attention in free agency, especially from playoff teams who are one or two quality role players from contending. Which makes sense, because properly utilized, Livingston is a really fun player to watch:
Fit with the Mavericks
In the wake of the Tyson Chandler trade, Livingston is suddenly much less of a fit than he was a week ago. Without Jose Calderon, one of the Mavericks' biggest concerns is suddenly offensive spacing. Livingston will only exacerbate that situation. On offense, Livingston fills largely the same role as Monta Ellis: driving and dishing. Livingston would've been a perfect complement to Jose Calderon, with Monta moving to the sixth man spark plug role, but that ship has sailed.
However, Livingston has all the other qualities the Mavs need from a guard: defense, versatility, and even rebounding. He probably has a decent shot at getting a starting role on another team, but Livingston could be a really fantastic role player on the Mavs. If he were amenable to that role, the Mavericks would then need to sign some serious three point shooting to surround Ellis and Livingston.
If Livingston is looking to start, then Dallas probably isn't the place for him. Which is unfortunate, because the Mavs could really use a rangy defensive wing of his caliber.
Livingston's comeback from his potentially career-ending injury is a difficult but inspiring story.