The GSoM community is ranking the Golden State Warriors' players, eliminating one player per poll "Survivor" style until we've decided who is the most valuable to the Warriors in 2017 and beyond.
We're referring to the players as "assets." As such, voters are reminded to consider age, salary, injuries, production, potential and overall value to the team (as either a player or trade piece) when making their selections. Basically, you're part of the front office, and it's time to cut the next player.
It turns out that the early reports were wrong, all wrong.
After suffering a debilitating knee injury it was implied that Shaun Livingston might never play again.
A single play in 2007 saw him dislocate his kneecap and tear his ACL, PCL and lateral meniscus as well as dislocating his patella and tibio-fibular joint. It is by far one of the most gruesome basketball injuries ever broadcast on television. At one point there was a genuine concern that his leg would have to be amputated. Fortunately, after months of rehabilitation, Livingston began to walk again and eventually returned to basketball, bouncing around the league and playing for seven teams in seven years as well as spending some time in the D-league.
The throwback guard: can you dig it?
Now he's a Warrior. And in the past two seasons his throwback style of play has endeared himself to DubNation. He truly is the last of an ancient breed. Very few point guards in this league are dead eye mid-range shooters, even less are at their best when playing with their back to the basket. At times Livingston looks like he's been picked up in the 80's or 90's and dropped into a modern game.
His approach to offense is something to be admired for sure. He's a proficient ball handler and see's the court extremely well. Combine that with his mid-range game and it makes for a pretty unique player.
On the other side of the floor when Livingston locks in defensively he can leave even the most elite NBA guards with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. His height and length allows him to bother both shooting guards and point guards making him the ideal backup guard for the Warriors as he can handle the ball — allowing the splash brothers to play off the ball — and he can defend either player in the opponents backcourt.
Sometime in the future
Furthering his value as an asset Livingston is only making $5,782,450 this season. A good deal for a bench player who does so much for the Warriors. However, somewhere out on that horizon lies an important question: Livingston is a free agent at the end of the year and at 31 years old it will be interesting to see if the Warriors re-sign him or chose to go in another direction. It's unlikely the Warriors will be able to retain both Andre Iguodala and Livingston unless they both take substantial pay cuts to keep contending in the Bay. Will Ian Clark or even Patrick McCaw take over Livingston's role?
On a team that has taken shooting to unprecedented levels a guard that doesn't shoot three pointers really stands out. Regardless of his aversion to long range shooting Livingston plays an integral part in the success of Golden State and these Warriors are good, real good.
And that's probably why the GSoM community has him as the seventh most valuable Warrior despite his slow start to the season.
On to the next selection!
If you had to lose one of the remaining six players forever, which one would it be? Vote in the poll and tell us why in the comments.