The Nets made a conscious decision this summer after C.J. Watson gave notice he would opt out. While they liked what Watson gave them last season, they decided they wanted a distributor rather than a shooter to back up Deron Williams. And they hoped Tyshawn Taylor would be ready for more minutes.
After looking at Shaun Livingston and Jamaal Tinsley, they went with Livingston. Jason Kidd --and Lawrence Frank-- were the 6'7" Livingston's biggest backers. They liked his height, his court vision and his toughness, having come back from one of the worst knee injuries in recent memories, one that almost cost him his leg.
Ben Couch does a deep stats breakdown of Livingston's game on the Nets official site. He is the polar opposite of Watson in many ways. While Watson hit 41 percent of his threes, Livingston hasn't made a three pointer in two years! But he has much better distribution stats and can finish at the rim. Here's some numbers from Couch's analysis (the first of five on the Nets new players)
--His .673 shooting percentage in the restricted area is significantly better than the league average; on par with most forwards and the elite backcourt players. "Ultimate point," says Couch, "he's a very good finisher."
--Livingston fittingly performed his best in the second quarter last season while backing up Kyrie Irving. His offensive efficiency increased to a staggering 110.4 points per 100 possessions.
--The 27-year-old assisted nearly a quarter (23.6%) of all teammate baskets while he was on the floor, dropping three dimes for each turnover.
As for Taylor, he too has an advocate in Kidd, who'd like to see him do well in his second year. Here's what he said about Taylor just before the summer league: "I just want to see him in this situation, this setting, being the leader, that’s what I’m pushing. I will lean on him heavily, I’m looking for him to put guys in position offensively and defensively."
Taylor had his moments in Orlando, making the SL second team, but was again inconsistent. He led the team in scoring at 16.8 points, but shot only 38.6 percent, an atrocious 10 percent from three and had more turnovers (5.3) than assists (3.8).