With the signing of Kevin Durant the Warriors knew that the roster and their roles would change drastically. The floor would be spaced even further with another three point threat added to the roster. The once feared “strength in numbers” bench would be dispersed across the league. The death lineup would also get even spookier with former MVP Kevin Durant replacing Harrison Barnes.
What was not brought up was playing Durant with a lot of the second unit making Shaun Livingston redundant. During his time with the Warriors, Livingston has been the primary ball handler for the bench unit. He is also a constant iso mid-range threat. Kevin Durant steps in and will handle the ball more but is probably the best in the league at mid-range iso. Durant is also a dangerous three point shooter while Livingston is not. In his three seasons with Golden State he has made a total of two from beyond the arc. Check out half his three point makes below:
This isn’t to say that Livingston has no place on the Warriors roster this season, but rather that his role is fundamentally changing. His height and quickness makes Livingston a solid defender who can guard multiple positions and get points over most people guarding him.
With head coach Steve Kerr still testing out new rotations, we may start to see Livingston playing more with the death lineup. He would play with Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green; filling in the spot usually held exclusively by Iguodala. Iguodala has started the season really only shooting from three or right at the rim which allows Livingston the opportunity inside to cause trouble for other teams. Surrounded by shooters, Livingston can stay in the mid-range and be a threat on cuts and turnaround jumpers.
Coach Kerr is still experimenting with rotations so we will see what rotations Livingston will thrive in. Shaun is still a crucial part of the Warriors bench even in a different role.