One day after Shaun Livingston surpassed career bests in minutes played and total points scored in a season, Stefan Bondy of the Daily News caught up with him and asked him the most pressing question on the mind of most Nets fans these days: will he re-sign with the Nets this summer when he's a free agent?
Livingston, who has started in 42 games this season for the Nets, is making his case for winning the Most Improved Player award, which as we know with such accolades come a pay raise. Livingston is making just under $1.3 million this season and the Nets are only able to offer him the mid-level exception of around 3 years and $10 million. Livingston, however, is expected to command more than that in the open market.
The battle now is between the money and the opportunity, or as Livingston notes, the system.
He told Bondy:
"(My enjoyment with Brooklyn and how I fit) definitely plays a factor. You have to weigh your situations, your options. The reason I'm in a situation where I can demand a contract is because I'm playing for this team, this coach, this system," he said. "I realize that and I'm not over my head. But at the same time, it's a business. You have to look at it like (the next contract) could always be your last."
He doesn't, however, take his situation for granted.
"I'm always pushing myself. But the system is good for me. It works. If I was guarding threes, chasing over screens and not switching in a different system, I might not be as good defensively. So I realize the important of being in a system."
Livingston will have to make a tough decision. The Nets know what they can offer, and it will be, as it should, in Livingston's right to see what he can get on the open market. Since, as he noted, you never know when a contract may be your last.
It's expected that Livingston will get better offers than what the Nets can give, but will it be enticing enough to pull him away from the system and, well, the fan base that supports him so much these days.
- Shaun Livingston hints he might take payday over resigning with Nets - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News