So far, the Golden State Warriors’ offseason has been quiet, notwithstanding the signing of combo guard Shaun Livingston.
Livingston 6’7″, can play multiple positions, and is meant to relieve some of the ball handling duties from Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala
Last season’s backup point guards consisted of Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford, and Steve Blake. The brightest spot was Blake, but the Warriors seem not pleased enough with what he showed to bring him back, as indicated by his signing with the Portland Trail Blazers without fuss from the Dubs. I have started to think, however, that the Livingston signing was not so much to remedy the loss of Blake and Crawford, but rather to support Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, allowing Klay more rest and Iguodala to slash off the ball rather than handle the ball.
Thompson played over 35 minutes per game last season and showed noticeable fatigue in some games where he was relied upon heavily on both sides of the floor. Iguodala is a decent playmaker, but the Warriors envision him more as a slasher and not so much a point guard.
Which brings us to the question: Who else will play point guard?
Answer: Nemanja Nedovic.
Heralded as the European Derrick Rose, Nedovic came in with great athleticism and a half-decent shot, but lacked the confidence to utilize it all in early opportunities with the team. But the Warriors have yet to sign another guard, and one thing is certain: Nedovic is looking great in this Summer League. He has been getting into the paint with ease, and seems ready to enforce his will on his opponents and score. Steve Kerr has been coaching the Warriors’ Summer League team and it has been surprising how much trust Kerr has already placed in Nedovic. He isolated Nedovic for the game-winning shot rather than set up a play.
The Warriors appear very much to want Nedovic to become a usable player more than anyone else on their Summer League roster. Nedovic is on contract to make approximately $4 million dollars over the next three seasons per the team’s option. In NBA salary cap space terms, that’s pocket change. If Nedovic can become a serviceable backup guard, dare I say a good one, the team will have him for cheap for the next three seasons.