2006-07 season: Everybody's "breakout" player before the season started, Livingston was falling somewhat short of expectations before he caught a very different sort of break. His gruesome knee injury on Feb. 26 leaves his career very much in doubt, as he injured the knee in multiple places and will almost certainly be out for the season.
Before the injury, Livingston had made some progress, although perhaps not as much as hoped. His shaky jump shot remains a drag on the rest of his game, but it's getting there -- he made only 32 percent of his 2-point jumpers in 2005-06, but upped that to 37.6 percent last season. He also improved his turnover ratio from "appalling" to "below average," and remained among the best rebounders at his position.
Scouting report: Pre-injury, Livingston's court vision and ability to handle the ball at 6-7 had many considering him among the game's future elite point guards. He still has plenty of holes in his game, but at 22 he also has time on his side. The question is whether he'll have anywhere near the same athleticism once he comes back from such a serious injury. Additionally, this wasn't his first brush with the injured list -- he'd already had extended injury absences in each of his first two seasons.
2007-08 outlook: Livingston is unlikely to be back by the end of the season. The Clippers could conceivably sign him to an extension before the season starts, but the more prudent course is to see how he recovers and then re-sign him as a restricted free agent after the season.
Most similar at age: Ricky Davis
Draft Express (July 2008)
BA Scouting Reports, Pacific Division (Part One)
July 31, 2008
Overview: A talented young prospect who will have to bounce back from a devastating knee injury. Entered the league straight out of his school and was just starting to show his potential before suffering a serious injury. Extremely tall for a point guard. Very skinny. Needs to add bulk to his frame. Has pretty solid quickness. Isn’t a great shooter by any stretch of the imagination. Not really much of a scoring threat. Doesn’t get to the free throw line at a great rate. Makes an impact on the offensive end by using his point guard skills. Can make plays for others. Has good ball handling skills. Sees the court very well. Can make passes that shorter points guards can’t. Rebounds the ball fairly well for his position. Developed his point guard skills at Peoria Central High School before declaring for the draft. May have to redefine his game once he returns. Could definitely stand to improve his jumper. Faces an uphill battle.
Offense: Gets most of his touches in pick and roll situations, but will also do some damage one-on-one and in transition. Displays a good looking jumper off the dribble (particularly from short and mid-range distances), but is a very mediocre spot up shooter. He seems to push the ball and turn his body on his release, which may be the primary driver of his struggles from the perimeter. Isn’t much of threat beyond the arc. Does a good job hitting shots off the dribble with a hand in his face, but his height allows him to shoot over most defenders he is matched up with. Decent finisher at the rim. Extremely creative. Needs to improve from the foul line. Displays impressive point guard skills. Possesses a deceptive first step, solid ball handling ability, and the ability to find the open man. His height advantage allows him to see the floor well and make passes than other point guards can’t. Still a bit turnover prone, but doesn’t make as many big mistakes as most floor generals his age. Runs the pick and roll like a veteran. Creates passing lanes and executes. Doesn’t have to turn the corner to find space due to his size. Displays an intriguing skill set for his size, but needs to improve his spot up jumper.
Defense: A solid defensive player for his age, who may not be the same when he returns from his injury. Has the quickness to make his length as factor. Great shot blocker for a point guard due to his size. Doesn’t always contest shots on the ball, but was getting better as he progressed. Displayed good anticipation when defending off the ball. Solid rebounder for his position, but not his height. Will get in a good stance and give effort. Had the potential to be very good defensively. Could still have it.
When first hearing that the Clippers inked Jason Williams to back up Baron Davis at the point, it made sense that L.A.’s management wanted to get an insurance policy given the uncertainty of Shaun Livingston’s robotic leg. But it turns out that the Clippers offered Livingston a one-year guaranteed deal, which he turned down. Thus, L.A. had to go elsewhere, and ended up with J-Will.
Livingston, who did not receive a qualifying offer from the Clippers after the season, recently turned down a reported one-year guaranteed deal from the team.
“At this point and time, we had to move on,” Baylor said about re-signing Livingston. “Shaun is not ready to make a commitment.”
How could Shaun not be ready to make a commitment in his situation? Dude was only starting contact drills about a month ago, and hasn’t proved that he can endure the slightest bump.
If you’re Livingston, do you take a guaranteed one-year deal or try to make more money off of the legacy of being a lottery pick?