Shaun Livingston to the Sixers could provide much needed veteran bench presence

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Shaun Livingston was waived by the Golden State Warriors and could be a great addition to the Philadelphia 76ers playoff hopes.

There’s something to be said about a strong veteran presence on the floor and at the end of the bench. When news broke of J.J. Redick’s decision to join Zion Williamson in New Orleans, a domino effect of elder statesmen departing the Philadelphia 76ers began to unfold.

Jimmy Butler wanted out of the limelight and into a role as “the man” in Miami. Philly’s heart and soul off the bench, T.J. McConnell, signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. Even the loss of the cool, calm and collective Amir Johnson adds a hole in the Sixers youthful repertoire.

Elton Brand softened the blow, inking former matchup nightmare Al Horford to a hefty four-year deal. The big man will serve as an immediate leader and team player on the court as well as mentoring Joel Embiid to become a dominant force beyond the MVP-caliber numbers he put on display last season.

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As for the bench, Zhaire Smith and Shake Milton have much to prove in the coming season, and Mike Scott was a crucial returning component to a team ready as ever to win now. The “Threegional Manager” is a strong personality on the floor, providing grit and passion that’s necessary to nudge past the league’s top teams.

Scott’s wild-card mojo attracts the love of Philadelphia in its entirety, but when it comes to crunch time in the big games, he’s not quite the veteran bench presence this team desperately needs. He has ice water in his veins and is not afraid, by any means, to pull the trigger and splash a timely, clutch three-pointer. With pulsating emotion, Scott is vital to this team’s success.

But what they’re severely lacking is a player who has been there and done that, off the bench. The type of player who can advise younger players in the moment, who can say “This is what you’re going to feel, and here’s how to handle it.”

Conveniently, a player who matches that exact description hit the market last week. Three-time NBA reserve, Shaun Livingston, was waived by the Golden State Warriors after the team dismantled a large portion of the group fresh off a historic five-year run.

Curry, Klay, and Draymond remain, and KD would be the most notable departure, opting to move into the Sixers’ division with the Brooklyn Nets, but Livingston was crucial to the Warriors success.

His time in the Bay Area was defined by quality minutes as a reliable guard off the high-profile championship teams which have dominated in recent years. Livingston gave the Warriors just over 17 minutes per game while contributing nearly six points per game.

More importantly, he held down the fort when Steph or Klay would head to the bench. Close to 50 percent from the field, the veteran guard makes smart shot selections and doesn’t waste any possessions.

Paramount to any of the aforementioned statistics, Livingston played at the greatest stage and didn’t falter nor crumble. He can be trusted with the ball in his hands, valuable reserve time when the cameras are front and center.

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If there’s anything Sixers fans, and personnel, are counting on, it’s a jumping off the hurdle into #TheLeague’s limelight and a journey deep into the NBA playoffs. Adding Livingston to the roster may provide that much-needed level-headed veteran presence to give Philly’s youth a boost to jump the hurdle and reach the promised land.