Shaun Livingston was on the phone Tuesday with Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco, talking about the Nets and his past, present and future. The 6'7" point guard with the great story of bad fortune and hard work was asked specifically if he could see himself returning next season. He's an unrestricted free agent in July and the Nets can either offer him all or part of the $3.3 mini-MLE or the vets minimum plus 20 percent, which is no more than $1.5 million.
He was non-committal but noted how happy he is with the Nets and particularly Jason Kidd.
It's definitely a juggling act. Understanding the situation I'm in. It's a very positive situation, playing for Coach Kidd, working with him, the chemistry I've had with him and with some of the other players ... Joe Johnson, D-Will, Garnett, I mean all of them have had positive influences on my season thus far. So It's been great for me to play here.
But obviously, this is a business, the business of basketball and you just got to weigh it out, but right now, I'm focused on the season and definitely on the playoffs.
Still, there were hints that Livingston might consider taking a lesser amount ... and then have his Early Bird Rights a year for July. He noted how Kidd recruited him for the Nets and why he chose them over other teams, saying of last July's decision, "The opportunity was too great to pass up. Regardless of money."
Livingston also was enthusiastic about the Nets and noted that he has "bounced around" before landing in Brooklyn.
I'm blessed, man, I'm blessed. Very thankful and grateful, But again very determined. All the hard work i've put in to get back to this point, it's been years in the making. Just bouncing around from team to team, in and out of the league, Just to have this opportunity here in Brooklyn, I'm just trying to make the most of it, take advantage of it.
Livingston confirmed what a lot have thought, that this is the best he's ever played.
I've had some good games, so good stretches, that I've put together over the past couple of years, but not on winning teams. With the team I'm playing with this year, the coaching staff, all the stars coming together in alignment, me having put together good games, it's more noticeable here in Brooklyn, here in New York.