Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston reportedly will be sidelined for the first six to eight weeks of the season with a toe injury, robbing the Warriors of what they thought would be their solution to a lack of depth at the guard positions. Livingston was brought on board this summer to act as a secondary distributor and perimeter defender behind Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
With point guard Nemanja Nedovic also expected to miss time due to a foot injury suffered in international competition, Livingston’s absence will most likely force the Dubs to re-sign free agent guard Jordan Crawford, who spent most of last season running the backup point after being acquired from the Boston Celtics. Crawford quickly proved to be incapable of acting as a third guard, instead hogging the ball, taking ill-advised jump shots late in the shot clock and playing poor defense; indeed, Crawford played so poorly that the Warriors felt compelled to nab Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake at the deadline. While Blake performed competently as a backup guard for the Warriors during the second half of last season, he elected to instead sign with the Portland Trail Blazers this season, further depleting the Warriors’ guard depth.
While many older guards are still available in free agency who could run the point off the bench better than Crawford, most still are third-string-caliber guards. The two free agents closest to fitting the profile of a second-string guard are Ramon Sessions and Earl Watson, but placing either in a backup guard role is still a risky proposition. Hopefully, the Warriors will be able to survive Livingston’s extended absence without forcing them to sign an inferior guard in free agency, but due to the Dubs’ roster construction, that may very well end up being the case.