Shaun Livingston can help the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers signed Livingston this week after he was waived by the Washington Wizards.
The phrase “after he was waived by the Washington Wizards” may not inspire the most confidence, but this is a good signing for the team. Livingston did not play in Wednesday night’s win over the Wizards, but is expected to contribute for the Wine and Gold.
First of all, while the Wizards are the worst team in the NBA, just because they waived Livingston does not mean he was not good enough to play for them. It just means that he was not a good fit for them along with the personnel that they have and the direction they are heading in.
The Wizards have certainly given up on other players with plenty of potential before, and some have thrived on other teams,
Livingston is an interesting case. Now 27, there was a time when Livingston was a hot young player about to take the league by storm. The 6-7 guard entered the league out of high school and was the fourth player selected in the 2004 NBA Draft. He played well as a rookie and started 15 games for the Los Angeles Clippers during his first year in the league. He even was selected once as the Western Conference Rookie Of The Month that season.
Livingston was injured in his rookie year, though, and then has battled injuries throughout his career. He missed part of the 2006-2007 season and all of the 2007-2008 season due to a terrible knee injury that completely derailed his career and could have ended it.
Livingston was able to play most of the last two seasons, though, and if he can stay healthy this season in Cleveland he can contribute. Livingston has never been a big scorer, but does well distributing the ball and running an offense. He can also provide another veteran presence to a team that is very, very young.
In the backcourt, for example, he and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson can both work with the new hot young guards, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, and help them continue to improve. They can also work with young guard Jeremy Pargo and the other young players on the team.
The Cavaliers have had problems with their second unit at times, and Livingston should be able to help this group. Pargo has done well as the back-up point guard, but he has been inconsistent. Livingston will likely be given opportunities to play with the second unit, and may be able to improve the bench’s performance on some nights.
Point guard Donald Sloan was getting some minutes with the second unit, but he struggled at times and was waived to make room for Livingston.
One other item that has been lacking at times this year for the Cavaliers is toughness, and Livingston should be able to help in this area, too. He has come back from some serious injuries and had to work extremely hard in order to get back into NBA shape. The Cavaliers need more players with his drive and determination in order to get out of this losing funk that has enveloped them for much of the year, and hopefully Livingston can provide some energy and toughness.
The Cavaliers need all of the help they can get right now, and I am betting that Livingston can provide some, even if he was waived by the Wizards.