Brooklyn Nets starting guard Shaun Livingston is expected to be a hot commodity on the open market this summer, when he becomes a free agent. Livingston, who started a career-best 54 games in 2013-14, has been one of the best stories of the NBA season, playing a pivotal role in the Nets' second-half resurgence.
Earlier, Nets GM Billy King said that re-signing Livingston would be the team's top priority this summer, a true testament to his importance in Jason Kidd's system. However, as expected, many suitors will come knocking. And one team, infact, has already thrown its name into the Shaun Livingston sweepstakes, according to Darren Woflson.
One other #Twolves note this a.m.: Shaun Livingston will be on their FA radar. Nets can only pay so much to keep. Flip has history w/ him.
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) May 12, 2014
Livingston played for Flip Saunders, who is currently the President of Basketball Operations in Minnesota, when he was the head coach of the Washington Wizards in 2009-10 and then later in 2012.
Here's Livingston talking about how Saunders was "tough" on him, as a motivational factor:
Here's Flip talking about Livingston being a "natural point guard."
So, yes, clearly there's a mutual respect there. The one holdup, however, is that the Timberwolves are currently over the projected salary cap for next season, with just north of $66 million in guaranteed salaries for 2014-15.
They are not, however, currently over the tax threshold for 2014-15, meaning they could offer Livingston the mid-level exception, which is $5.15 million per season, while the Nets can only offer him $3.1 million.